The majority of states in the U.S. – California included – allow legal marijuana cultivation, production and adult use and sales (with some restrictions) within their jurisdictions. But that hasn’t entirely shielded people from the potential for serious criminal charges for cannabis violations under federal law.
Existing statute classifies marijuana as a schedule I narcotic, dangerously addictive like heroin and with no medicinal value. This classification is clearly arcane, but it doesn’t negate the fact that people can still face substantial criminal penalties for federal cannabis violations. Unless and until marijuana is legalized at the federal level, it is imperative to take these seriously and work with a long-time cannabis criminal defense lawyer.
Consider the case of a 26-year-old Maryland man who has been jailed in a maximum security federal prison for close to a year, awaiting trial on federal marijuana conspiracy charge, which is something of a gray area of the law as state laws grow more lenient. He and nearly a dozen others are accused of transporting more than 1,000 kilograms of cannabis from California to Maryland over the course of two years. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years. Continue reading