Amendment 64

Legal: Possessing up to 1 ounce of marijuana or six plants, if you are 21 or older.

Illegal: Possessing, buying or selling larger amounts of marijuana. Possessing marijuana if you are younger than 21.

I n the November election, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, essentially legalizing pot in the state.

So that means it's a pot free-for-all, you can smoke it on the quad (or wherever) whether it's 4/20 or not right?

Wrong.

Amendment 64 made it legal for people over the age of 21 to possess less than an ounce of marijuana. That means about 62 percent of CU's undergrads (those under 21) won't be affected by the new law, according to CU Police spokesman Ryan Huff.

"For those under 21, it's as if Amendment 64 never happened," Huff said.

(For those younger, it is still possible to obtain a medical marijuana license if you are 18 or older, with an examination from a doctor.)

Rules and regs

Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 6 of this year, CU Police issued 327 tickets for possession and consumption of marijuana -- a slight decrease from the 375 tickets issued during 2011, according to statistics from the department.

Huff said he doesn't expect the new law to significantly impact the number of possession and consumption tickets handed out by CU Police since so many students are still under 21.

Fines for the petty offenses can vary, up to $99.


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While you still can't consume pot on campus or in the dorms, students 21 and older can possess up to an ounce on campus without receiving a ticket.

Follow the rules if you want to avoid a ticket. Huff said that since the university has sent out multiple messages to students explaining the law and its impact, there will be no grace period for educating students on the law.

Consumption of marijuana is banned on the university campus and in the dorms. So even if you are of legal age or have a medical marijuana license, you still can't smoke pot on campus or in any other public place. (But freshmen who have a medical marijuana license can be released from their requirement to live in the dorms since pot is not allowed in the residence halls.)

Use it at home to reduce your chances of getting ticketed for consumption. In fact, remember this: Use it at home in Colorado. Amendment 64 only applies to Colorado, so don't take your legal stash to another state -- where it's probably not legal -- with you.

Also, even if you're of legal age, you can get in trouble for sharing it with minors, even if you're legally consuming it -- just like alcohol laws. The same's true if someone of-age gives you pot -- that doesn't mean you can legally posess or consume it.

CU policy...and more fines

Under Amendment 64, there are limits on the amount of marijuana one can possess and grow, Huff said, so you can still get ticketed for possession if you have too much.

Marijuana still falls under CU's drug and alcohol policy, which "prohibits the unlawful manufacture, dispensation, possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance of any kind and of any amount."

The Office of Student Conduct is separate from local police and can hand out additional punishment to students who violate university policies, said university spokesman Bronson Hilliard.

The office investigates each situation and determines the consequences based on the student's involvement and offense.

The first drug offense often results in parental notification, semester-long probation, a student conduct fee of $75, and it requires the offender to attend an alcohol or drug intervention class -- a $150 to $200 fee, according to staff in the Office of Student Conduct. Additional sanctions may include community service, a reflection paper or attending a decision-making workshop.

The second violation is similar to the first, referring students to a more intensive alcohol intervention class ranging from $200 to $500, two semesters of university probation or suspension, the University's Community Living Class, and a student conduct fee of $100, according to the office.