Readers of this blog are likely aware that in recent years, there has been a considerable shift in people’s opinions on marijuana. Besides the medicinal benefits of marijuana, many people in the U.S. agree that it is not nearly as dangerous other substances, some of which are completely legal. People have also noted that marijuana-related convictions have contributed to overpopulated prisons and ruinous criminal records for nonviolent offenders.
For these and other reasons, states across the U.S. have started changing their marijuana laws. In some states, it is legal to have and buy both recreational and medicinal marijuana; in some states, it is legal to have medicinal marijuana; in other states, like Indiana, marijuana in all forms is illegal. This has created some unfortunate confusion.
For example, four men from Indiana traveled to Colorado to legally purchase marijuana and products containing marijuana. However, as they were traveling through Missouri, they were stopped by police for a traffic violation. Missouri, like Indiana, prohibits the possession and distribution of recreational marijuana.
The men consented to a warrantless search of the vehicle, perhaps thinking that they were not in violation of any laws since the products they had were all purchased legally. However, when the products were found and identified by Missouri police, the men were all arrested and charged with felonies.
This case should serve as an important reminder of how complicated drug crimes and laws can be, especially because they vary from state to state. It should also help people remember the consequences of consenting to a search without a warrant.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a similar situation, it is crucial that you understand your rights and options to defend yourself against criminal charges. Failure to discuss your case with an attorney can lead to serious mistakes that put your future and your freedom in jeopardy.
Source: Hannibal Courier-Post, “Legal buy in Colo. nets felony drug charges in Marion County,” Trevor McDonald, Nov. 19, 2015