Colorado was the first state to legalize medical marijuana use before legalizing recreational cannabis a few years later. A region that took such a bold approach to marijuana reform has also relaxed its stance on other substances, right?
Not so fast. Although Colorado pioneered the trend toward legalizing weed, state prosecutors seek harsh penalties for distributing (and even possessing) “hard drugs” like cocaine.
Is cocaine distribution or sale a felony?
Yes, all cocaine-involved offenses in Colorado are felonies except for using the substance, which is a misdemeanor. In distribution cases, the level of the felony charge depends on factors such as the substance’s weight and where the alleged offense occurred.
Distributing 14 grams or less is a level three felony and the least severe charge. Even so, defendants face the possibility of harsh penalties, including up to four years in prison and fines of $2,000 to $500,000.
Distributing between 14 and 225 grams (about half a pound) results in level two felony charges. Prosecutors may seek penalties such as up to eight years of incarceration and $3,000 to $750,000 in fines.
Distributing more than 225 grams is a level one felony, and a conviction will disrupt your life in every way. The possible penalties for this offense include a prison term of up to 32 years and fines between $5,000 and $1 million. Transferring any amount of cocaine to a minor or selling the substance on or near an educational facility also leads to level one felony charges.
Regarding possession, having even a small quantity of cocaine with no intent to distribute is a felony punishable by costly fines and time behind bars.
As you can see, much is at stake when facing a possible conviction on drug charges. Seek guidance from a defense professional to stack the odds in your favor.