Let’s Talk Marijuana.
Within the past year, you might have heard how Colorado and Washington have “legalized” marijuana. While the plant still remains illegal in Tennessee (indeed, under certain circumstances possession of marijuana can turn a Tennessean into a convicted felon), the Huffington Post published an article Tuesday touting the benefits Denver has enjoyed since recreational marijuana sales were legalized (click here to read the entire article, video included). While many opposing any sort of legalization of marijuana argued that crime rates might go up, it is reported that Denver’s crime rate has actually fallen (click here to see denvergov.org’s statistics). Additionally, the Huffington Post reports “[n]early $13 million has been added to state coffers in tax and licensing fees from Colorado’s recreational and medical marijuana markest — $7.3 million of that from recreational marijuana.”
However, one misconception this author often encounters is that people think marijuana is actually legal in those states. Rather it must be understood that while states may attempt to legislate marijuana, or to “legalize” it, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. This is a lesson some citizens find out the hard way, like the Harvey family from Washington is currently discovering. As reported by theguardian.com, “Larry Harvey, a 70-year-old medical marijuana patient with no criminal history, three of his relatives and a family friend each face mandatory minimum sentences of at least 10 years in prison after they were caught growing about 70 pot plants on their rural, mountainous property.” (click here to read the entire article). Moral of the story – just because the state government doesn’t prosecute you doesn’t mean the federal government cannot.
Of course with medical marijuana appearing on the ballot later this year in Florida, there are many still against the legalization of marijuana (click here for just one example), so this will continue to be an interesting topic to watch.
The author of TNLawyerLee is Nicholas W. Lee, Esq., an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you or someone you know need an attorney, please click herefor Mr. Lee’s contact information and contact him today for a free consultation. Also, please feel free to visit Mr. Lee’s website,www.TNLawyerLee.com or follow his page on Facebook for updates as to his law practice or new posts to TNLawyerLee by clicking here.
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