POTITICS: Laws Regarding Marijuana Transportation in Colorado

Laws Regarding Marijuana Transportation in Colorado


Marijuana transportation is a special subset of laws even in recreational states. Many recreational users assume that because marijuana is legal within the state of Colorado that it’s safe to be transported in any way — but this could lead to some significant fines and penalties in the event that they encounter law enforcement.

Open Containers of Marijuana

Open container laws are non-specific when it comes to marijuana transportation. Ideally, marijuana should be stored in a closed container such as a mason jar. It’s arguable whether things such as plastic bags can be considered “open” or “closed” because they are resealed; this is where a law enforcement officer will usually make the determination on their own. Legally, an open container is considered to be one that has an open or broken seal or one in which contents have been partially removed.

In other words, if a consumer is purchasing from a dispensary, it’s best for them to leave the packaging completely sealed until they get home. A package may also be considered to be “open” if there is evidence that some of it has been consumed in the vehicle.

Marijuana Use While Driving

Marijuana use while driving is considered to be driving while intoxicated — a DUI charge that is up to law enforcement to determine. There is no set amount of THC that automatically imparts a DUI charge; it’s up to the officer to determine whether the driver appeared to be intoxicated while driving. No one in a vehicle should be using marijuana and that includes passengers. Even passenger usage can be considered a traffic infraction — though luckily these infractions only relate to minor fines, rather than arrest.

Storing Marijuana Safely for Transportation

The advised method of storing marijuana for transportation is within a closed, sealed container in the trunk of a vehicle. This ensures that law enforcement will know that the marijuana wasn’t being used or otherwise accessed while the vehicle was in motion. This is very similar to the law for open containers of alcohol. However, there is another note: there should not be more marijuana in the vehicle than all occupants would be legally allowed to carry.

Colorado marijuana users should always be careful when they are transporting quantities of marijuana, even small quantities. If a marijuana user has any questions regarding the legality of their actions, they can consult with their local legal aid society or marijuana awareness group.