Colorado may have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, but that does not mean that its other drug laws don’t remain in effect. The state diligently prosecutes people for drug crimes, and even if you are just visiting, you become subject to them when you crossed the state line.

Perhaps you injured yourself while skiing or participating in another of Colorado’s numerous outdoor sporting activities. You didn’t want to go to the doctor, so the friends or family you are staying with gave you a bottle of pain medication that is considered a narcotic. You don’t think anything of it because it’s a medical prescription, but if those pills aren’t prescribed to you, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

Illegal possession of prescription drugs

The federal government has an act to cover just about everything, and that includes possessing prescription drugs. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, you may only be in possession of prescription drugs, which the act considers narcotics, with a valid doctor’s prescription written for you.

This is, in part, due to the fact that every medication has side effects that doctors account for when prescribing them to certain individuals. You may not be aware that you are susceptible to certain side effects if you take another person’s medication. In addition, many of these narcotics come with serious health hazards and could become addictive.

If police find prescription drugs in your possession

If police find those pain pills you took from your friend or family member in your possession, you could face criminal drug charges. Not only would that put a damper on your visit, but it could also have adverse effects on your personal and professional lives.

Living in another state tends to only complicate matters. You need to understand that you can’t just go back home and forget about the whole thing. You will need to address the charges. Fortunately, it may not be necessary for you to come back and forth to the state to attend court hearings unless the court insists on it.

Even so, with the right criminal representation, it may be possible to work with the court in order to minimize the impact that court proceedings have on your daily life. Moreover, since your freedom, employment and other considerations to your life are at stake, it may be a good idea to enlist the aid of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon possible after your arrest.