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Colorado Medical Marijuana

Ballot Amendment 20 -- Approved Nov. 7, 2000 by 54% of voters
Effective: June 1, 2001

Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and advising that they "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana." (Patients must possess this documentation prior to an arrest.)

Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS positive, cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Colorado Board of Health.

Possession/Cultivation: A patient or a primary caregiver who has been issued a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card may possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana and not more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.

Patients who do not join the registry or possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law may argue the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" if they are arrested on marijuana charges.

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