As you undoubtedly have heard from all the news outlets and online services throughout the country, Colorado has wisely decided to officially legalize marijuana as of the first of this year, 2014. Though it became legal for people over 21 to carry up to an ounce as of December, 2012, it is now officially legal for authorized stores to sell up to an ounce of marijuana to anyone over the age of 21.
Non-residents of Colorado can also purchase up to ¼ ounce, but cannot legally transport it across state lines. There are a few other laws accompanying the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. For example, you have to be in your own home, or the home of someone else that condones the use of marijuana to smoke it. Lighting up in the streets, the car, the bar, or anywhere that isn’t private is still illegal.
Colorado’s stance on marijuana is progressive and intelligent. Many states, like Maryland, are still not quite ready to legalize the drug. Maryland, like most of the states in the union are sitting back and waiting to see how the situation pans out before they legalize, which they will. It’s only a matter of time before Maryland and most of the other states jump on the old pot wagon because of the only driving force that truly matters in this world: money. You see, the money that has been dumped into the system to stop marijuana use, importation, criminalization, enforcement, and jail is staggering. Has that money been well spent? Of course not, it’s been a total waste of money for decades, and to what avail? Now Colorado is being more than progressive by turning the tables around. Instead of dumping and wasting endless money into the system to attempt to stop something that can’t be stopped, they are now condoning it and more importantly, taxing it! The money that Colorado will make from this important move, plus the money they will save by not wasting money in enforcement will amount to a small fortune. Kudos to Colorado for having the insight to see the smart play and for having the backbone to make it happen! The other Johnny Come Lately states will ultimately jump on when they see the money that they are missing and when they figure out that marijuana is no worse then alcohol, and in many respects better, just ask Dr. Gupta from CNN.
Until Maryland extricates its head from…. and decides to quit wasting money on enforcement and instead decides to make money, which will probably take 2-4 years to figure out, the following law applies if you are caught with marijuana:
- 10 grams or less – This is simple possession or “personal use.” In Maryland, this crime is a misdemeanor that can result in 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.
- 10 grams – 50 lbs – This can be rules personal use and result in up to a year imprisonment with a fine of $1000.
- Less than 50 lbs – If you are caught with 50 lbs and receive intent to distribute, the fines and jail time get hefty. Your punishment can be up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $15,000.
- More than 50 lbs. – Your sentence cannot be less than 5 years in prison.
If you are caught with marijuana and charged with any type of possession charge, you should seek experienced counsel. Contact the Law Offices of Bruce Robinson & Associates for legal counsel concerning possession or intent to distribute as soon as possible.
Robinson & Associates located in Baltimore, Maryland is a premiere criminal defense law firm practicing for over 20 years. With a former state’s attorney and former public defender, they have the necessary resources and experience to help resolve your situation quickly and successfully while supporting you throughout this difficult time.
To learn more about our blog, What are the Maryland Marijuana Laws? or to schedule your free consultation, give Robinson & Associates a call at 443-524-7395. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.