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Can you face a marijuana charge because of federal law?

Living in the United States and being a fan of marijuana isn't easy right now. Some states are making the product legal, while others are cracking down on keeping it off the streets. With the legalization of medical marijuana in some places and not in others, the decriminalization of marijuana in some states and not others, and overall changing laws, it's hard to keep track of what you can or can't do.

In Florida, the laws are straightforward. Marijuana is not legal in the state, but as of Jan. 3, 2017, medical marijuana was legalized. Interestingly, no matter what the state decides, it's still against federal law to be in possession of marijuana due to the Controlled Substances Act. In the case that your situation involves both federal and state charges, you could find that the federal government tries to penalize you for marijuana possession even if you have obtained it legally.

Does the government actively enforce the Controlled Substances Act?

When it comes to marijuana, it doesn't tend to as long as the cases are minor. For instance, if you're in possession of an amount of marijuana that wouldn't equate to more than a misdemeanor, you're probably not going to have anyone from the government investigating your case. On the other hand, if you're selling 5,000 grams and get caught, you would likely face felony charges and could be part of a federal investigation as well.

Marijuana is a controversial drug in the United States. While people do want to see it get legalized in most states, that simply hasn't happened. The best way to avoid getting into trouble with the law is to keep up with changes as they occur. If you don't, you could end up fighting for your freedoms or working hard to obtain an alternative penalty for a first offense.

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Mark J. O'Brien's cases have been featured in:
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