As you may know, America just had itself a presidential election, and, depending on your thoughts regarding its outcome, you may be happy with California voters’ decision to legalize recreational marijuana. Since we’re about to traverse some uncharted territory, the legal team at Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation thought it best to examine what this decision means for drug laws, particularly misdemeanor offenses.
Yes We Can
On November 8th, California joined Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. According to the New York Times, more than 20% of Americans now live in a state in which recreational marijuana use is legal.
Among other things, this means that Californians 21 and older no longer need to worry about facing arrest and misdemeanor charges for possessing up to one ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana. However, Californians found to be in possession of more than one ounce of cannabis may still find themselves facing a misdemeanor charge and/or $500 fine.
Don’t Forget About the Feds
It’s important to remember that federal law trumps state law. If an overzealous executive branch decides to enforce federal statutes criminalizing marijuana possession, states — particularly those that legalized the drug for recreational use — will likely find themselves tangled up in court.
One More Thing
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General, has issued a series of anti-marijuana statements throughout his congressional career, some as recently as last April. In short: we would all be wise to employ a wait-and-see approach to marijuana policy in California and throughout the United States.
Call Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation Now
If you have any questions regarding the implications of California’s recent decision to legalize marijuana, contact the professional lawyers at Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, and schedule your free consultation. With over two decades’ experience defending Murrieta clients in misdemeanor cases, we know what it takes to help you achieve the future you deserve.