Can Underage Marijuana Possession Affect My Academic Future?

By September 10, 2015Thomas Law Firm

Under Colorado state law, it is illegal for a minor to possess marijuana – actually, you can be a legal adult and still get into trouble if you are caught with marijuana. The legal limit for possession is the age of 21, just like alcohol.

Minor in possession charges (MIPs) can really hurt a person’s prospects for education by affecting eligibility for Federal Student Financial Aid. When filling out FAFSA forms, you must answer the question of whether you’ve ever been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs during the time you are receiving federal student aid. If you answer yes, you will have to answer more questions, and these questions could limit the aid you can receive.

Possession convictions will automatically disqualify you for student aid for one year, starting on the date of conviction. For two convictions, the penalty is two years; three or more gets you indefinite suspension. Selling drugs gets more severe penalties, giving you two years automatically and indefinite suspension for any more convictions.

It is possible to regain eligibility following your disqualification or through participation in a drug rehabilitation program, although further convictions will make you ineligible again.

So when your older brother asks you to hold onto his weed for him, or your friend in the dorms asks if you want to get in on a budding business opportunity, you should consider your academic future before making a bad decision. If you do get caught with marijuana, though, you have options – speak to a Colorado marijuana defense attorney to review your case.

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