Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard that marijuana laws are changing (mainly easing up) everywhere. Some states have legal medical marijuana and Washington and Colorado have made it recreationally legal for those over 21. Other states like Oregon are pushing for recreational legalization on the ballot this year. In any case, if you are in the right place or have the right authorization to use it, marijuana is legal for you to use. However, this does not mean all limits are lifted. If you are going to legally use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, there are some things you need to remember to ensure you avoid legal trouble.
1. Never Drive High
It is incredibly important not to drive after consuming any intoxicant. In this case we are talking about marijuana. The states that have legalized marijuana are particularly on the lookout for offenders due to the increase in legal marijuana use. Don’t ruin your life by getting a DUI or even worse, ruin someone else’s by hurting them when operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Consume legal cannabis after you are through with driving for the day. If you have to use a vehicle after marijuana consumption, call a designated driver or a taxi.
2. Look Out For Others
One really important thing to remember is to make sure your marijuana does not fall into the hands of someone who is not supposed to have it. Just because it is legal for you to possess, does not mean it is legal for all. Make sure your marijuana is always stored out of the reach of children or animals. Keep in mind that marijuana can come in forms that kids would love to get their hands on, ie. chocolate, candy and baked goods. If you have children living in your home, you may want to take things a step further and educate them on the marijuana in your home, what it looks like, and how to avoid it. Remember that if you are a medical patient, you are the only one authorized to use your cannabis. If you are in a state that has passed legal recreational laws, remember the legal age to use marijuana in these states is 21.
3. You Still Cannot Smoke In Public
Anywhere in the United States that marijuana is legal to use, it is still illegal to use in public. Legal marijuana must be consumed in private. Many people have been using marijuana in public thinking that now that it is legal it can be used any time or place. Some people are not supportive of the use of marijuana and smoking it amongst the public is a good way to attract unwanted attention and possibly a police detention, and/ or arrest.
4. Carry Your Card and Research Legal Help
Make sure you carry your medical marijuana card if you are a legitimate medicinal user. When in a recreational state, you just need your identification to prove you are 21. If you do have the misfortune of being stopped by a peace officer for potentially violating the law after using marijuana, know your rights. You have the right to remain silent. Do not give a statement unless the officer is asking for your medical card. You can refuse to be searched without a warrant. If you are arrested and a court appearance is necessary, you should plan ahead and get the information of a reputable criminal defense attorney.
If you follow these guidelines you will avoid serious legal trouble and you can stay true to your intentions of using marijuana which (depending on the state) are to reap the benefits of a medication, or just have some legal recreational fun.