When it comes to marijuana laws the states and the feds are not on the same page. Many states allow the use of medical marijuana and the fines and penalties for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana are minor. In California if you are caught with less than an ounce of marijuana you can have your case dismissed by either attending an eight hour class or by giving a DNA sample. The maximum fine for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in California is $100. Many states and counties allow individuals to grow marijuana for personal use. Counties such as Mendocino allow individuals to plant a 10 square foot area of marijuana. The local police will not do anything to those growers. However, the feds will. So while you might have a recommendation to smoke and grow marijuana in a state which recognizes this right, the feds can still arrest you. This is a huge problem when it comes to marijuana dispensaries or collectives. The state is telling you you can do this while the feds could swoop in at any moment and arrest you. Where is the sense in this?
The current federal marijuana laws have created a black market for marijuana, increased crime and filled our prisons.
Senator Barney Frank and Presidential hopeful Ron Paul have just introduced a bill which allows the states to control the marijuana laws. The opponents of this law say that marijuana has no proven medical benefits which is simply not true. Many people benefit greatly from the use of medical marijuana. Others argue that there is a high potential for abuse. However marijuana is one of the least harmful substances out there. It is certainly less harmful and less addictive than other prescription medications such as vicodin and oxycontin which are lethal and highly addictive.
If you or a loved one are charged in state or federal court with possession, sales or transportation of marijuana please consult with an experienced criminal defense, marijuana or drug lawyer. They will be able to guide you through the process and obtain the best possible result for you.