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5 Things You Should Know About the Legality of Marijuana

Do you live in a state that has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana? Or perhaps you’re in a state that has only thus far made medical marijuana legal. Whatever the case, the legality of what you can and can’t do with marijuana in either of these situations isn’t always clear. 

You may also be curious about how legalizing marijuana changes other laws in your state.

We’ll take a look at how marijuana is changing the face of the nation – one state at a time.

1. State Laws Vary

It’s important to understand that each state has its own set of rules in place regarding marijuana.

Obviously, in states that prohibit it, the rules are pretty clear cut.

In states where only medical marijuana is legal, the language of the law can vary tremendously. While all of them recognize the therapeutic effect of cannabis and cannabinoids, the language of the law makes it harder for physicians to recommend marijuana in some states than in others.

Meanwhile, any state that has legalized recreational marijuana has already legalized medical marijuana. However, state laws vary quite a bit in those cases as well.

2. No Consuming in Public

Some people think that the legalization of marijuana means people can stand out on the street and smoke or vape just as they would a cigarette.

That’s not the case.

One thing that is consistent among state laws is the prohibition of consuming marijuana in public. Just as you wouldn’t guzzle a pint of whiskey in a public park or government building, you can’t use marijuana in any place where you might be observed by others.

This includes consuming it in your car.

Law enforcement continues to work on methods to prove the measure of impairment of a driver. In the meantime, they’re able to fine drivers for driving while impaired based on driving infractions or a field sobriety test. 

3. Decriminalization 

One big change in the law in states that have legalized recreational marijuana is decriminalization.

Since marijuana is now completely legal in those states, police can no longer arrest those using or in possession of marijuana. They can only issue citations that carry minimal fines and don’t result in a criminal record.

Furthermore, people with a current record for marijuana possession are getting these charges expunged from their records. 

4. I.D. Required

In states where both recreational and medical marijuana are legal, you will still need an MMJ card to purchase medical marijuana.

Meanwhile, every person is required to show a state I.D. to get into and make a purchase of recreational marijuana at a cannabis dispensary.

Finally, anyone under the age of 21 may not enter a dispensary. 

5. You Can Still Get Fired/Evicted 

Private property owners are permitted to ban pot consumption if they so choose.

That means if you work at a company with a zero-tolerance policy, or live in an apartment where the landlord is spooked by marijuana, they can fire or evict you for any transgression. 

What Is the Legality of Marijuana Where You Live?

It can be confusing to determine the legality of what you can and can’t do when it comes to marijuana.

Maintaining awareness and using common sense should keep you out of trouble though. 

Curious about other up-to-date information? Keep checking back with us!

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