Colorado Cannabis: What minors need to know

Colorado Cannabis Laws on Underage Use

Colorado is one of the few states in the United States where Cannabis is legal for recreational use, but that doesn't mean that the laws surrounding Cannabis are lax. In fact, Colorado has some of the strictest Cannabis laws in the country, especially when it comes to underage use.

In Colorado, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess or consume cannabis. If an underage individual is found with cannabis, they can face fines and potentially even criminal charges. The amount of the fine depends on the amount of Cannabis found, with fines ranging from $50 to $1,000 for first-time offenses.

For possession of one ounce or less of Cannabis, the fine is $50 for a first-time offense. For possession of more than one ounce, the fine increases to $100 for a first-time offense. Repeat offenders can face higher fines and even jail time.
In addition to fines for underage possession, there are also strict laws surrounding the sale of Cannabis to minors or by minors. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or attempt to purchase Cannabis. It is also illegal for anyone to sell or provide Cannabis to a minor.

If someone is caught selling Cannabis to a minor, they can face fines and potentially even criminal charges. The fines for selling Cannabis to a minor can range from $2,500 to $100,000, depending on the amount of Cannabis sold and whether it is a first-time or repeat offense.

In addition to fines, there are other consequences for breaking Colorado's Cannabis laws. For example, a person who is found with Cannabis may have their driver's license suspended. They may also be required to perform community service or attend drug education classes.

Where is Cannabis legal in the US?

California was the first state to legalize Cannabis for medical use, putting the law into effect in 1996. Since then, the medical use of Cannabis has been legalized in 39 states and the District of Columbia. The recreational or adult-use of Cannabis has been approved in DC and 21 states. Check out this article to see when recreational and medical Cannabis-use became legal (or not) in all US states.

Check out this map of current Cannabis legality (recreational/medical, medical, none) by state and other underage Cannabis-use facts:

Who needs to know laws surrounding Cannabis-use?

It's important for both adults and minors to be aware of laws surrounding Cannabis-use. While Cannabis may be legal for those over 21 in Colorado, it is still illegal for minors to possess or consume it. Anyone caught breaking the law could face serious consequences, including fines, criminal charges, and even jail time


Colorado has strict laws regarding underage use of Cannabis. Minors who are caught with Cannabis can face fines and other consequences, while those who sell or provide cannabis to minors can face even more severe penalties. It's important for both adults and minors to be aware of these laws and to avoid breaking them in order to avoid the serious legal consequences that can result.

And, because Cannabis-use is not legal everywhere, make sure you do your research before using or traveling with Cannabis outside of Colorado.

References (n.d.). Retail marijuana. Retrieved from (n.d.). Marijuana laws. Retrieved from
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (2019). Colorado retail marijuana public health advisory. Retrieved from
History and Map of Marijuana Legalization by State. 2023. Website.