You could decide you want to take a weekend trip to Chicago to make the most of a short break from work. Now that Michigan has fully rolled out its marijuana legalization program with recreational dispensaries open all over the state, people have started to take the legality of marijuana for granted.
If you utilize your newfound freedom to consume marijuana, you may not think twice about packing it with you for your trip. Unfortunately, when you cross state lines, that legal marijuana in your possession suddenly puts you at risk of a federal offense.
Even travel from one legal state to another is technically illegal
There are numerous ways that someone who brings their Michigan marijuana with them on a trip could break the law. For example, traveling to a state where marijuana is not legal makes its possession and consumption of crime. Improperly storing the marijuana while traveling even with a legal state could lead to certain criminal charges, as could consuming it while driving.
Someone who stores their marijuana properly, doesn’t drive under the influence and only goes from one state to another could still be charged with a federal offense. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, which means that taking the substance from one state to another constitutes trafficking. Even if you have no intention to sell it, your personal stash could lead to very concerning legal charges.
Anyone facing a federal drug charge for marijuana possession will face not only a criminal trial but also federal sentencing minimums, which could make a minor offense much more serious than it would be if charged by the state instead. Protecting yourself after an arrest requires understanding the laws and the evidence against you. With the right help, it may be possible to defend against such charges.