There are still a lot of issues with California's legal marijuana law. From the delay in creating secondary regulations to an increase in illegal growers using questionable chemicals, legal marijuana has created many new issues.
One legal issue that Californians and tourists may encounter is how state law clashes with the federal legislation. If you leave the state while in possession of marijuana or marijuana-infused products, like edibles, you could be facing serious federal charges. The federal government isn't going to care that you legally purchased the marijuana or that it was a gift.
Crossing state lines while in possession of marijuana is unquestionably a violation of federal law. In certain cases, such as direct travel by plane to another legal state, this could be a non-issue. In cases where you're driving, perhaps into Arizona, which only allows medical use, you could end up facing federal charges.
Given the new administration's firm stance on marijuana, you shouldn't expect a light sentence just because public opinion about marijuana crimes has shifted. You will need the help of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who knows California and federal marijuana laws.
Federal charges can completely change your life
When you face federal criminal charges, the criminal record could haunt you for life. If you commit a state offense, you can always move to another state once you've completed the terms of your sentence. With federal crimes, your criminal record will follow you wherever you go. It will make it hard to find work and places to live.
Sometimes, if there are issues with the laboratory or chain of possession, your attorney can challenge the physical evidence being used against you. It's also possible that law enforcement violated your civil rights when they stopped, arrested or incarcerated you. Your lawyer can determine what your best options are after hearing all the information about the circumstances of your arrest and alleged crime. Working with a public defender won't be your best choice. They are often overworked and may not have much experience working specifically with marijuana crimes.
A federal defense attorney is your best chance at a positive outcome
When you are facing federal drug trafficking charges for trying to take marijuana out of California, it can change your life. The best hope for a positive outcome to this situation comes from working with an experienced federal defense attorney. Don't wait!