Controlled Substances

Controlled Substances – The Laws Are Complex

Controlled Substances laws in Colorado are complex and are a crucial aspect of the state’s legal framework, designed to regulate the possession, use, distribution, and manufacturing of certain drugs and chemicals. These laws classify drugs into different schedules based on their potential for abuse and medical utility and set forth the legal penalties for violations.

Understanding Colorado’s controlled substances laws involves examining the scheduling of drugs, possession and distribution laws, and recent legal changes, especially concerning marijuana.

Drug Scheduling For Controlled Substances

  1. Schedules of Controlled Substances: Drugs and other substances are classified into five schedules in Colorado, mirroring federal classifications:
    • Schedule I: Substances with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use (e.g., heroin, LSD).
    • Schedule II: Substances with a high potential for abuse but some accepted medical uses under severe restrictions (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine).
    • Schedule III: Substances with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence (e.g., anabolic steroids, ketamine).
    • Schedule IV: Substances with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence (e.g., Xanax, Valium).
    • Schedule V: Substances with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics (e.g., cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters).

Possession Laws For Controlled Substances

  1. Illegal Possession: Possession of a controlled substance in Colorado without a valid prescription or legal authorization is a criminal offense. The severity of the charge (misdemeanor or felony) depends on the amount and type of substance.
  2. Penalties: Penalties for possession can range from fines and probation to lengthy prison sentences, particularly for higher schedules and larger amounts.

Distribution and Manufacturing Laws

  1. Distribution and Trafficking: The sale, distribution, or trafficking of controlled substances is a serious crime in Colorado, with penalties significantly harsher than those for possession.
  2. Manufacturing: Illegally manufacturing controlled substances, including the operation of methamphetamine labs, is also a major offense with severe legal consequences.

Marijuana Laws

  1. Legalization: Colorado has legalized marijuana for both medical and recreational use, but it remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. This creates a complex legal landscape.
  2. Regulations: There are strict regulations governing the sale, possession, and use of marijuana. For instance, there are limits on the amount one can possess, age restrictions, and regulations for dispensaries.
  3. DUI Laws: Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Colorado. The state has established THC blood concentration limits to determine impairment.

Recent Legal Changes and Considerations For Controlled Substances

  1. Drug Policy Reforms: Colorado has seen reforms aimed at reducing the criminal penalties for drug possession and focusing more on treatment and rehabilitation.
  2. Medical Use of Certain Controlled Substances: The state has programs in place for the medical use of substances like marijuana and, under certain regulations, for substances like CBD derived from hemp.
  3. Overlap with Federal Law: While Colorado has its controlled substance laws, these sometimes conflict with federal regulations, particularly concerning substances like marijuana.

Controlled Substances Laws Are Complex

Colorado’s controlled substance laws are a complex interplay of state and federal regulations. They reflect a balance between controlling drug abuse and allowing for the legal use of certain substances, especially for medical purposes.

Understanding these laws is crucial for those accused of drug crimes in Colorado to navigate the legal landscape effectively and responsibly. The Kohn Law Firm is here to help you in any way possible – give us a call today!

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{Shimon is a top defense attorney who gets the job done. He stays loyal to his clients and is always there when needed. He is the best attorney I have known. Very thorough. Mr. Kohn also isn’t afraid to stand up to the prosecuting side and go after what is right.


Shimon Kohn is the attorney to call when you need the best criminal defense lawyer. I will never have enough words to express my gratitude to him for how he helped my family. He was available to answer questions honestly and reassuringly within a reasonable timeframe.
He exeplified professionalism, compassion and expertise. His professional and personal relationship with the district attorney's office is unparalleled in this community. Shimon is definitely to whom I will refer anyone and everyone who requires legal services.


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{Shimon was assigned to my cases when there were many conflicts. He became the gateway to being heard on my case. Of course I had guilt to some degree, but Shimon stood up & fought for reasonable consequence. He was thorough with organization, facts, and persistent with the DA. The respect I was given during my time of incarceration to assure I wasn’t left in the dark, is absolutely the best I’d experienced. I have, and will always recommend Shimon & his law firm for their accountability, their desire to make you feel like you’re heard/personable, attention to detail and respectable reputation! What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong, but the fairness and overall justice with Kohn Law Firm is highly recommended!

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Julian was a pleasure to meet, and work with.  What initially drew me to his counsel was his enthusiasm at working with my case, comprehensively,  and with my best interests not only in mind, but in heart as well. Like many, my financial situation was greatly impacted during 2020, and they were willing to set up amicable payment options that catered well to my specific needs at the time, which greatly helped. I would strongly recommend of course Julian,  as well as the firm as a whole,  as my experience was highly professional,  and thorough.

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We heard from Shimon through a family member and decided to go with him for our case which was a felony. He gave it to me straight and never promised a deal. the DA was being very agressive and wouldn’t lower the charges but nonetheless Shimon kept the pressure on them and we got the case dismissed! Obviously it’s not a guarantee he can do the same for anyone else but let me tell you this is the best lawyer in the springs he will fight tooth and nail and not try to feed you BS. I do not wish to ever have any more legal trouble but if we ever do find ourselves in a bind Shimon is the only lawyer we will ever need. I would highly suggest to anyone else if you want to sleep well at night hire this man! Thanks Shimon! You are definitely worth every penny!

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