6 Legal Facts in Colorado You Might Not Know3 min read
If you’re planning on moving to Denver or another area of Colorado, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the state’s legal regulations. Here are some facts about Colorado laws that may surprise you!
1. Freedom to Marry
Colorado was one of the first states that recognized civil unions for same-sex couples who registered with the county clerk and recorder’s office. The state also offers second-parent adoption rights for non-biological parents who wish to adopt a partner’s biological or adopted children. In 2014, Colorado became the 18th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
2. Marijuana Use
Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2012. Since then, the sale and possession of up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of marijuana for adults 21 years old. However, one thing that hasn’t been legalized yet is driving under the influence. If you’re caught with a DUI in Denver, you might be able to challenge it by questioning the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, administration of field sobriety tests, reading of Miranda rights and implied consent rights, and other legal issues. However, it’s best to stay away from driving while under the influence of Marijuana and other substances.
3. Gun Rights
Colorado is among the most gun-friendly states in the nation, with a few exceptions. It’s illegal to possess firearms if you have been convicted of certain felonies or misdemeanors involving domestic violence, as well as juvenile offenders and those who are subject to protective orders. There is also a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.
If you’re considering hiring armed crews for your business, according to Security Info Watch, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanently expanded eligibility for deductions to security systems placed from 2018 and on. If you own a business in Denver, you can take advantage of the tax deduction.
4. Theft Laws
Colorado’s theft laws are fairly strict, and you might be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity. For business owners, it’s essential to protect their storefronts from theft. According to Zippia, there are 55,037 business consultants in the United States, so you may want to consider hiring one if your business falls victim to theft.
If you’re convinced of theft, you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine if you steal up to $2,000, according to the Colorado Legal Defense Group.
5. Human Trafficking
The state of Colorado has taken a firm stance against human trafficking and is making sure perpetrators face the justice they deserve. In 2014, it became the first state in the country to enact a Safe Harbor law for detained juveniles, providing them with access to services and resources instead of criminalizing them.
The Colorado Safe Harbor Law also extends to adult victims of human trafficking, ensuring any crime committed as a direct result of being trafficked is viewed as an act of survival and not a punishable offense. The state has also put in place dedicated funding for treatment and services for survivors.
6. Psychedelic Decriminalization
In 2022, Colorado took a bold step by passing legislation to decriminalize the personal use of certain psychedelics. The bill decriminalizes possession of psilocybin mushrooms also known as magic mushrooms. If you’re caught with psilocybin mushrooms, you won’t be facing criminal charges if you’re over the age of 21. The legislation also encourages research into the use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes and sets up a task force to look into ways to regulate this new industry.
Colorado’s laws are both progressive and conservative, depending on the topic. When it comes to same-sex marriage, marijuana use, gun rights, theft laws, human trafficking, and psychedelic decriminalization, the state has taken a firm stance in favor of these issues and is working to protect the rights of its citizens.