Marijuana is now legal in a growing number of states. As of this writing, 26 states and the District of Colombia now have some type of legalized marijuana. Six states allow marijuana for recreational use and two others have passed laws to allow it, though they haven’t yet gone into effect. This patchwork of marijuana legalization – without clear, decisive direction from the federal government – has led to some confusion in some regions.
Case-in-point: A man in Arizona was arrested while sitting in his vehicle, listening to music and smoking a little marijuana. Now, as our L.A. marijuana lawyers will tell you, there is more than one flaw in his thinking. The first is that even in states like California where use and possession of marijuana are legal for recreation, public use is not legal. Beyond that, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence or impaired. Even if the vehicle was not on, authorities could make the argument that he was “in control” of the vehicle and, depending on state DUI or OUI statutes, that could mean even just sitting in the car with the keys in the ignition.
But this defendant’s biggest problem was that marijuana is not even legal in Arizona, at least not for recreational use. Continue reading