You couldn’t be blamed for any confusion you might have about the laws surrounding marijuana use in the United States. Over the past few years, the legality of the cannabis-based recreational drug has changed a lot, with more changes likely to come.
Many states have moved to legalize not just for medicinal reasons but for recreational use as well. At the same time, marijuana remains strictly against the law in many states across the country and at the federal level.
If you’re caught with possession of marijuana, what consequences might you face? What rights do you have? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you should know.
Understanding Possession of Marijuana Laws
Despite changes in many states across the country, the federal government has refused to remove marijuana from its classification as an illegal drug. Under federal regulations, having even a small amount of marijuana in your possession could result in jail time or serious fines.
Marijuana possession itself still generally holds less severe punishment. Punishments are more severe for those who are participating in the sale or transport of marijuana. A large number of states have pulled back on possession charges and given alternative paths to jail time.
While the federal law still prohibits marijuana possession, you’ll need to understand the state laws in your location. Your location will be key if you hope to understand your rights and what your next steps should be.
At the end of the day, unless your possession overlapped with a desire to move the product over state lines, you’ll likely be free of worrying about federal laws.
State Marijuana Laws
Many states across the United States have decriminalized the possession of small quantities of marijuana. In some of these states, this simply means that the punishment for possession is simply a small fine or infraction.
The possibility of jail time for possession in these decriminalized states? Little to none.
Other states, as you know, have actually gone through the process of legalization, which is different from decriminalization. In legalization, all criminal and civil penalties for possession are removed.
If you live in a state where marijuana possession is decriminalized, marijuana possession should have no impact on your criminal record. It will be a strictly civil penalty.
Regardless, it’s important to take the time to understand marijuana laws in the place where you live. The rights you have will differ depending on your location. If you’re unsure about the possible charges you might face? Speaking with defense attorneys such as Tom Bruno might help you to get the answers that you need.
Possession of marijuana in the modern era shouldn’t change your life, but it is possible to still be hit with fairly severe punishment. Having legal help on your side can help you to avoid a more severe fate.
U.S. Marijuana Laws
The possession of marijuana is a complicated legal matter at the current moment in the United States. The above information can help you determine what your rights are if you are charged with possession.
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Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.