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Can you be charged for marijuana at the state and federal level?

Marijuana in not legal in the state, and it is also illegal federally. How does that apply to people who do use marijuana when it is legal? What happens if you're caught in a state where it isn't? Will you face federal or state charges?

Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which means it is restricted and has no medical purpose. It's illegal to possess it or to sell it. Even if you go to a state where it is legal to use marijuana, you could still technically be arrested and face federal charges. Federal law has prohibited the use of marijuana since the 1930s.

Possessing marijuana violates the Controlled Substances Act. The CSA considers simple possession serious enough to penalize you with up to a year in prison and a fine of $1,000. For those who are involved in selling or growing marijuana, that time in prison could grow to up to five years and have a fine of up to $1 million.

Presently, the federal government is restricted from using its funds to stop states from making marijuana legal. However, it's a state-by-state change that is taking place. Even if you use marijuana legally in one state, you can still face arrest for possessing it or having it in your bloodstream if you're in a state where it is not legal.

Since Virginia does not have legal recreational marijuana, it's never a good thing if you're caught with it in your possession. It's possible to face state and federal charges. Your attorney can help you defend yourself, so you don't face penalties you don't deserve.

Source: FindLaw, "Federal Marijuana Laws," accessed March 28, 2018

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