Now that some states have legalized the sale of marijuana for medical use and Colorado for recreational use, many legal questions have begun to arise about the cultivation and possession of this substance in relation to different state and federal laws.
Currently, marijuana possession or cultivation is illegal at the federal level and in most states. It is listed as a Table 1 drug, which means it has no medical value and has a high potential for abuse.
Some lawyers advise: “If you are arrested with drugs in your possession, drug charges are likely to be brought. In some cases these charges are misdemeanors, but in many cases drug offenses are charged with felony.”
However, with places like Colorado legalizing the substance how to get weed in Australia , how does this apply to federal laws and the laws of surrounding areas? Can a federal official enforce drug possession laws on someone legally able to possess marijuana in their city? Can the feds override state laws? Can someone cross state lines to buy legal marijuana in Colorado and bring it back home without breaking the law? Is this legalization a move by the federal government to intensify, regulate, and tax marijuana at the national level? All these questions are very valid and have just begun to be addressed.
Detailing the Answers
• A federal official cannot charge a person with a felony of marijuana possession if the person has not committed a federal felony with the drug. A federal offense would be considered transporting the drug across state borders or attempting to resell the drug in another state. If the person attempted to resell the drug within the same state or did not have the right to possess it, state criminal laws would apply.
• Federal drug laws cannot supersede state laws if the activity in question remains within the state. Each state has the constitutional right to make and enforce its own laws without federal government interference.
• Someone residing in a state where the purchase and possession of marijuana is illegal cannot legally cross state borders to make the purchase, nor can they legally bring the product back to the state. If something is illegal in a state, it remains illegal until the law is changed. Purchasing the product in one state where it is legal does not make it legal in another state.
• It is possible that the federal government will want to find a way to regulate and tax at the national level, but this is probably an impossible task. The federal government does not have the authority to force any state to change its laws or make anything legal or illegal. All states that currently do not allow the sale and use of marijuana would have to change their laws to allow this and agree to allow the federal government to monitor, tax, and enforce the law of the product within their borders.