Several states have proposed legalizing marijuana and after last week's election, marijuana is now legal in Colorado and Washington. The two states are the first to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
The new amendments in Colorado and Washington make it legal to produce, sell and possess marijuana. The amendment in Colorado allows individuals who are 21 and older to have marijuana in their possession. Individuals can possess no more than one ounce of marijuana.
While the cultivation, possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use is now legal in Colorado and Washington, the law still faces many challenges. It may be difficult to enforce the states' new laws, especially since marijuana possession will be legal in these states but illegal in surrounding states. It is also still illegal under federal law to possess any amount of marijuana.
Marijuana is still illegal in the state of Texas, including medical marijuana. A group of supporters in Texas have tried to propose legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession. The group proposed that they would like marijuana to be legal and to be regulated like alcohol and tobacco. Legalizing possession of marijuana will be a difficult task in Texas and previous proposals have not been successful.
Possessing or selling marijuana is illegal in Texas and under federal law. Individuals who are arrested and charged for possessing or distributing marijuana can face serious consequences if they are found guilty. The amount of marijuana in possession can impact the charges and fines against individuals.
Individuals facing drug possession charges should also be aware of search and seizure laws. If police have not followed proper search and seizure laws, drug charges may be dropped against the arrested individuals.
Source: CBS DFW, "Election Legalizes Marijuana In Two States, Not Texas," Nov. 7, 2012