Recreational marijuana’s legality is different in every state. In some places, it’s completely legal now, but just one state over, you can only possess it medicinally. This means you can walk twenty feet across the state border, and the cops can arrest you for having a gram in your pocket.
That’s frustrating for some people if they use pot recreationally. It’s the current reality in the United States, though.
It seems likely that eventually, recreational marijuana will be legal nationwide. In the meantime, you should be a careful user. Let’s look at legal weed in more depth.
A Weed Bust Can Affect Your Life
If the scenario we just talked about happens, and you get busted with a little weed in a state that doesn’t allow it, you’ll probably need to get yourself a competent lawyer immediately. They can talk about your options with you.
Depending on the arresting state, you might have to deal with different consequences. You may:
- Spend a little jail time
- Have to pay a fine
- Have to do community service
Most states understand now that marijuana is not the devil. We’re somewhat past the “Reefer Madness” days. Still, some states are harsher than others, which is why you should know all about how different ones punish possession if you travel.
Is It Worth It?
Most people, when the cops bust them for weed, deserve it. That’s a harsh thing to say, but it often happens through their carelessness. Maybe they:
- Drove across state lines with weed in the car
- Flaunted marijuana consumption in a state that doesn’t allow it
Even in states with recreational legal weed, you’re not supposed to smoke it as you walk down the street. You’re supposed to consume it in your house, as you would alcohol. You might have to pay a ticket if you break those laws.
The best way to avoid getting yourself in trouble for weed is to know whether it’s legal recreationally in your state. If it is, you can consume it, but do so in your home, and don’t drive or act irresponsibly.
If you have some that you bought in a state where it’s legal, don’t try to carry it over state lines. If you do, and you get in trouble, you can only blame yourself. It’s a legal hassle that you don’t want just to get high.
What About Medical Marijuana?
Ah, you might think. But what about if I have medical marijuana that a doctor prescribed me? Maybe you have arthritis or glaucoma, and a few puffs make you feel better.
Marijuana is great medicine in some cases, but even if you have a doctor’s prescription, you still can’t use it in states that don’t allow it. There aren’t many states now that don’t allow medical marijuana, but some still don’t.
If you think that some police officers won’t arrest an older adult with half a joint in their pocket, think again. Some authority figures on a power trip will still bust you even for this minor infraction. They’ll haul you in front of a judge, make you pay a fine, or worse.
It doesn’t make much sense unless you engaged in reckless behavior like driving after smoking or eating an edible. But again, that’s just reality at the moment.
What About the Future?
The reason we said earlier that recreational marijuana would likely be available nationwide one day is that America seems poised to go that route over the next couple of decades, or even sooner. Every election cycle, more states vote to legalize.
Speaking frankly, it’s mostly the older generations, like the Baby Boomers, that still fear weed. Younger generations, like Millennials and Gen Z, realize that it’s mostly harmless. You can still get yourself in trouble with it, the same as with alcohol.
You need to use it moderately, and if you do, conduct yourself accordingly. You’re not going to act crazy and go on a murderous rampage like conservative politicians used to rant about back in the 20th century. The drug doesn’t do that.
Marijuana is something that many people enjoy, and it very seldom ruins their lives. As more people accept this, more states will legalize, until they all do. In the meantime, though, you have to respect different state laws so as not to mess your life up needlessly.
If you have doctor-prescribed or recreational weed, use it when and where the authorities say you should. If you flout the rules, you must pay the consequences.