The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado was seen by many as a major triumph over oppressive federal laws that have kept the drug criminalized for decades despite growing research suggesting that the drug is not as harmful as we once thought it was.
Because Colorado was one of the first states to legalize marijuana, legislators in our state had no basis for drafting laws. This meant forging new ground, which raised a number of questions among people who wanted to use the drug but did not want to face criminal charges for breaking the law. Even though state laws have been in place for a few years now, questions still arise about the drug, especially in regards to transportation of the drug over state lines.
A look at drug trafficking laws
Because recreational and medical marijuana are still illegal in most states, an individual from Colorado who has marijuana in their possession could face drug trafficking charges if they cross state lines. That's because marijuana is still considered a controlled substance under federal law and it is illegal to transport such substances in the United States.
But what if you bring marijuana into a state where it is considered legal? While you might think it's okay to bring marijuana into a state where it has been legalized, you may still face drug trafficking charges because you are transporting a controlled substance. Drug trafficking is a felony offense and seeking legal counsel may be your best option for defending yourself.
Understanding the law and understanding your rights
Because Colorado laws regarding marijuana differ from federal laws, residents in our state - as well as those visiting our state - need to be mindful of how their actions could be interpreted under the law.
Missteps are understandable - not everyone is equipped to interpret the law flawlessly - which is why it's important to keep in mind that you always have the right to legal counsel when facing criminal charges. Obtaining a skilled criminal defense lawyer can make a major difference in criminal cases because they can not only explain the law and how it applies to you, they can act as your advocate as well.