Facing criminal charges of any kind represent the possibility of serious fines and repercussions that can include everything from time behind bars, required community service and more. It is critical to take every type of criminal charge seriously, understanding that a conviction of even a minor criminal offense can lead to a permanent mark on your criminal record. Even a misdemeanor drug offense may change your life completely.
Drug charges can range in type and severity. Even with less restrictions on marijuana use than in the past, there are still many laws regulating this drug of which you should be aware. Violating federal drug laws or failure to adhere to state regulations could lead to serious legal trouble. You will benefit from understanding more about what you could be up against and how to protect your interests.
Marijuana laws and what they mean for you
In 1996, the state of California decriminalized marijuana, as well as legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. In 2016, a vote passed a measure that now allows adults that are 21 and older to purchase marijuana, possess it and consume it. However, this law only allows this for amounts up to 28.5 grams. Starting in 2018, it was possible to get a state license to produce and sell recreational marijuana to individuals over the age of 21.
While legal for recreational use, it is still illegal to possess large quantities of this drug, distribute it outside of the legal channels or possess it as a minor. If you do not have a license to sell recreational marijuana, possession of more than 28.5 grams is punishable by up to six months in jail. Additionally, state laws prohibit a user from smoking it in public, ingesting while operating a vehicle or having an open container of it in a vehicle either as a driver or a passenger.
A defense against drug charges
It can be difficult to defend oneself against drug charges, especially if you do not have a full understanding of the law. You will benefit from seeking knowledgeable guidance regarding how you can prepare an effective defense strategy that will allow you to fight for your future interests. By seeking this assistance as soon as possible after an arrest, you can confront any charges brought against you by the prosecution.