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How Not To Get Arrested For Weed In A Legal State

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With marijuana legal in some form in the majority of the U.S., many are feeling a lot more relaxed — and not just because of the weed. Cannabis users feel legally liberated in states where marijuana is legal; it’s a great feeling to know you can enjoy something you love without fear of going to jail.

While this is partially true in states where weed is legal, it’s not the whole truth. In fact, there are several ways you can still get arrested where marijuana is legal.

Here are 10 rules to remember when you live in a state where marijuana is legal that may just keep you out of handcuffs.

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Always Buy From A Registered Dispensary

There are a lot of reasons you should buy your weed directly from a dispensary. There is quality control, safety and you know exactly what you are getting. Most of all, it is the legal way. Remember that just because marijuana is legal in your state does not mean you can purchase it from an unlicensed dealer, or from a stranger off the street. This is still very much against the law.

Never Re-Sell Weed You Purchased Legally

It might feel like a simple favor, but selling your friend the weed you purchased legally, even if you are not making a profit, is illegal. While your friend may not tell on you, just remember that possession is legal, but the selling and delivery of marijuana can land you in jail.

Make Sure You Have Your Medical Marijuana Card

If you have been approved for medical marijuana in the state you live then you can legally obtain and use it for medicinal purposes. When you have marijuana in your possession be sure to have your medical marijuana card on you. 

RELATED: Possible Benefits Of Having A Medical Marijuana Card In An Adult Use State

“If police accuse you of illegal drug possession, you can use this card as a form of identification to show law enforcement your status,” according to an article by LawInfo. If you do not have your card on you, however, the police may arrest you until matters are cleared up.

Don’t Over-Plant Weed On Your Property

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It is legal to grow weed for recreational or medical purposes in over 20 states. Grow laws vary in every state. Some only allow you to grow for medical purposes. Every state has a restriction on the number of plants. 

RELATED: State-By-State Guide To Cannabis Age Requirements

Some states even have restrictions on how many plants are allowed to flower at one time. Be sure you don’t get a greedy green thumb. Plant the legal amount so you and your plants can rest easy.

Don’t Smoke Weed Where It Is Not Allowed

Some states allow you to smoke in public and others do not. Possessing and using marijuana on federal property, however, is always illegal. “The federal law applies to offenses committed on federal property, which includes the Capitol grounds and the mall within D.C., as well as all national parks and military property nationwide,” according to NORML. This means you should think twice before sparking up at the National Mall or your Yosemite. 

Don’t Carry Too Much

When you are at a dispensary you might be able to buy unlimited amounts of marijuana, but that simply is not the case. Every state has laws on the amount of marijuana you can possess. These laws are no joke either. Being caught with large amounts of marijuana can sometimes land you with felony charges in most states.

Never Purchase For, Or Partake With, Those Underage

Here's What You Should Know About Teens and Marijuana Abuse
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RELATED: Here’s What Can Happen If You Give Marijuana To Minors

It may feel like a no-brainer, but getting an underage person high, or providing one with marijuana is always against the law. Remember that the legal age is 21, not 18.

Don’t Send It In The Mail

Edibles might seem like a great addition to a care package, but it is an illegal act. Colorado’s official website says, “The United States Postal Service is run by the federal government. Since marijuana isn’t federally legal, you can’t pop it in the mail.”

Do Not Bring It Across State Lines 

Individuals, and even companies, are not allowed to bring marijuana across state lines. All the marijuana you legally purchase in a state is from that state — and legally must stay there.

RELATED: Cross State Lines With Marijuana, Get Your Child Taken Away

This is an easy thing to assume if you are traveling to a state where weed is illegal. If, however, you are going from one legal state to another you still should not cross the border with it. Keep in mind that when you fly the “friendly” skies, those skies are federal skies, not state-owned. 

Don’t Drive With Weed In The Car

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It is not always illegal to drive with weed in the car. If marijuana is unopened and in its package it is often acceptable. Opened flower and other opened forms of marijuana in motor vehicles is often illegal. Many states have adopted laws similar to “open container” laws that exist for alcohol.

RELATED: In Possession Of Weed? Here’s What Not To Do If You’re Pulled Over

Also, if you get pulled over with visible marijuana in your car — it just isn’t a good look. Be smart, and limit how often marijuana is in your vehicle when you are driving.



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Legalizing Weed Reduces Foster Care Admissions By This Much, Finds New Study

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The problem with this false sense of concern is that “The children” are exposed to a myriad of other social ills that are perfectly legal, and thus – “the children” can verily go fuck themselves, because in “those instances” parents are considered the caretakers of their children and the state no longer has any responsibility towards their wellbeing.

Confused yet?

Yeah, me too!

Let me make it simpler.

As of 2018, nearly half of Americans had a “propensity for obesity” with nearly 1 in 10 Americans being severely obese. When we look at Child Obesity Rates in the US, nearly 1 in 5 has a propensity to obese.

RELATED: Cross State Lines With Marijuana, Get Your Child Taken Away

This is directly linked to the American diet. All the sugary, hormone packed, corn syrup-industrial guck they sell you as “food” are packaged in plastics drenched in phthalates that reduces fertility and shrinks the taints of young boys. This was sold en masse without virtually any over sight, and when you looked around in the room, you could hear the crickets as no one screamed “WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!”

Only recently has the discussion on phthalates gained some popularity, but I’m not seeing any major legislations happening, no major push from these so called “Mother groups” concerned about the health of their children. I guess, if they ain’t smoking the icky sticky – they can eat themselves into a coma while actively working on a healthy dose of diabetes to accompany their shriveled little taints.

However, the “What about the Children” mantra might have even perpetuated actual harm against children as a new study found.

5 Things You Can Do To Help You Feel Normal
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Legal Cannabis – Fewer Foster Kids!

A recent study entitled, “Recreational marijuana legalization and admission to the foster-care system” found that legalizing cannabis actually could have a positive impact on child wellbeing. Here’s the abstract of the study:

We estimate the effects of legalized recreational marijuana on entry into the foster-care system. Exploiting state-level variation in legalization and its timing, we estimate that legalization decreases foster-care placements by at least 10%, with larger effects in years after legalization, and for admissions for reasons of parental drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and parental incarceration.

Our findings imply that legalization may have important consequences for child welfare, and that substitution toward marijuana from other substances can be an important part of how legalization affects admissions.

RELATED: Drug Incarceration Rates Are Dropping, But Police Continue To Make Arrests

In other words, because parents didn’t go to jail for cannabis, they were able to stay at home and take care of their children. Cannabis is a far less dangerous substance than alcohol on all measurements. Alcohol is involved in nearly 40% of all violent crimes and is highly addictive. Yet, you’ll see ads run on Youtube which can be viewed by children.

You can drink yourself into a stupor, pass out in your yard and piss yourself – which would all be legal and socially “acceptable”. Sure, people frown on alcoholism yet glorify it on T.V with Super Bowl commercials. Once again, the “what-about-the-children” protests are eerily silent when it comes to promoting a more harmful substance during “family time”.

However, the fact that the War on Drugs sends roughly 25,000 kids with families to foster care per year…that is an atrocity. That does merit a “What about the Children!” Yet, once again, those moral-driven parent groups could give a damn about some “poor kids” that aren’t their own. The hypocrisy is real!

How did I get the 25,000 per year? Well, this is based on the general entries into Foster Care in 2019. You can check the stats here. Considering that the study found that it reduced admissions, “entries” by 10%, we’re roughly looking at 25,000-26,000 children.

These are 25,000 children that now have to deal with psychological trauma, a disruption in their development, and a forced separation from their parental figures by a “hostile state”. And you wonder why people don’t trust the government.

Photo by rawpixel.com

While “what about the children” certainly is gaining some attention, one Reddit User said it best:

I’ve been very disappointed by the number of people who’ve supported legalizing marijuana not because they’ve come to understand the profound problems with the War On Drugs, but simply because weed is about as harmful as caffeine.

Unfortunately most people still don’t understand how the WoD is a harm maximization strategy that takes an already dangerous substance, and greatly exacerbates every dimension of it’s harm, from the user up through society as a whole and national governments.

The calculus is still “This thing is bad, we must ban it.” There’s just been a shift to ‘weed isn’t bad’. That’s why we’re in the midst of yet other drug panic and crackdown where we mindlessly ramp up penalties over fentanyl, even as weed gets legalized everywhere. Left unacknowledged is the fentanyl is a pure example of the consequences of prohibition; virtually no one prefers it, and the crisis was largely created by government policy when the CDC, acting as a mouthpiece for the DEA against medical expert consensus, started a war on pain pills in general, instead of targeted action against inappropriate prescribing, spiking demand for street opioids, leading to need for a greatly expanded supply. Then once they saw the easier sourcing and greater profits, it’s basically replaced heroin, at the cost of far, far, far more ODs.  

Which brings us to the fundamental problem with prohibition – it doesn’t make drugs any safer. It also doesn’t solve the problem – only lines the pockets of criminals, bolsters a hostile state, and oppresses children by forcibly removing them from their parent’s care.

As Fafalone pointed out, the War on Drugs shifts in accordance with the latest “problem”. Currently we’re in an “opioid epidemic” and “need” the DEA and the government to “fight” more boogie men. But unlike the average person, I have been covering the War on Drugs, prohibition and the political policies of cannabis for over a decade.

What the study has revealed is that legalizing cannabis reduces admissions by 10%, but how many other drugs also play a role in that? What if treatment was free? What if there was a safe way to get out of addiction? What if locking people up for drug use is the worst possible way to deal with a drug problem?

marijuana arrest
Photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

The fact of the matter is that the War on Drugs cannot and should not exist at all. It’s an atrocious policy that corrodes the trust in governance, which for an anarchist like myself is something that has long been lost (trust in the gov).

The fact of the matter is that if we’re truly striving for a society that cares about people, we need to stop treating drug use as a crime. We need to acknowledge that we all use drugs, one way or another. We need to understand that Pharma isn’t god when it comes to medicine and people should be allowed to explore alternatives to the Pharma option.

It’s time we as a collective step up, challenge these dinosaurs, and once more “decentralize the power structure”.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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New York’s Draft Conditional Retail Regulations Raise Practical Concerns

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It is an exciting time in New York, as there is finally momentum towards the first sales in the adult-use cannabis market. Just weeks after Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill to permit qualified hemp farmers to start growing the first batch of adult-use cannabis, the Cannabis Control Board has released draft regulations that would award the first 100 retail licenses to applicants that meet certain requirements, most notably that an individual applicant or an immediate family member have a past conviction for a marijuana-related offense in New York.

It should be noted up front that state cannabis regulators have extremely difficult jobs balancing a number of conflicting interests. Regulators have tried a number of novel approaches to craft fair and equitable industries in their states, but almost inevitably there has been litigation from parties that do not feel they had a fair shake, sometimes delaying the launch of the entire industry in that state.

RELATED: New York Hemp Farmers Promoting Equity In Cannabis Can Also Grow Weed

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Photo by Tom Ritson via Unsplash

The new draft regulations in New York unfortunately may end up with a similar result. Every headline announcing the regulations has focused on the requirement for an applicant to have a marijuana conviction in the family, but the requirements for an applicant to qualify for these conditional licenses unfortunately do not end there. The draft regulations also require that a controlling owner of an applicant needs to “hold or have held, for a minimum of two years, at least ten percent ownership interest in, and control of, a qualifying business, which means a business that had net profit for at least two of the years the business was in operation.” This is potentially problematic for a number of reasons.

First, the stated goal of the regulators is to help families that have been significantly hurt by marijuana convictions. But if these families have been so severely impacted, would it not be extremely difficult to have owned a part of a profitable business? Outside of that potential incongruity, the practical effect of the profitable business ownership requirement is that the pool of possible applicants that could qualify for the license will decrease, to a degree that would appear to be difficult to estimate.

While most states require applicant entities to provide information about their owners and managers to state regulators, these draft regulations are exceptionally detailed in listing out the types of information and documents relating to ownership and control of an applicant entity that are required to be disclosed. The draft regulations are designed to ensure that the individual owners of an applicant that are “justice involved” (i.e. have a marijuana conviction in the family) maintain control of the applicant entity throughout the application process and during the life of the conditional license, barring approval of an ownership transfer by New York regulators.

The other significant part of the draft regulations that should not be overlooked is the insight they provide into the potential locations of the license winners’ dispensaries. New York is trying to create a $200 million fund to support license winners’ real estate requirements. The state is currently utilizing real estate brokers to find over 100 suitable locations for dispensaries, and the state intends to use the fund to enter into leases and manage the construction and equipping of these properties.

On this point, the draft regulations provide that regulators may establish geographic zones throughout the state, and link these to applicants’ scoring point totals. Applicants may be asked to rank their preferences for the geographic zone where their dispensary would be located, and then regulators would assign the applicants with the highest application point totals to their preferred geographic zone. If there are more applicants that request a particular geographic zone than there are leased dispensary locations in that zone (say, New York City!), regulators would assign applicants with lower point totals to another geographic zone.

new york
Photo by Ferdinand Stöhr via Unsplash

There is no information as to how applicants in a particular geographic zone would be assigned to specific properties, but it would presumably be a similar ranking system based on points totals. 

Taking a step back, the result of this system is that there are certain applicants that may end up with dispensary locations far away from where they live. Applicants that win these conditional retail licenses may have the benefit of being the first to open their doors, and the economic support of the proposed fund, but in exchange they would seemingly sacrifice some autonomy, including selecting the location of their business.

RELATED: New York Senate Gives Green Light To Marijuana Licensing & Equity Bill

To summarize, New York regulators have created a novel approach to the issue of equity within the cannabis industry in the draft conditional retail regulations. Unfortunately, the very specific requirements for qualifying applicants, and the system for selecting dispensary locations and assigning applicants to these locations, may complicate the application process and launch of these conditional retail dispensaries.

Jon Purow is Counsel in the New York office of Zuber Lawler, where he assists clients with their cannabis and/or intellectual property legal needs. When not practicing law or fighting crime as a masked vigilante, Jon is host of the podcast “Cannabis Last Week”, hybrid news/analysis extract from 420+ sources.

This article originally appeared on Zuber Lawler and has been reposted with permission.



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Drug Incarceration Rates Are Dropping, But Police Continue To Make Arrests

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Despite cannabis’ ongoing decriminalization, drug arrests continue, steady as they’ve always been. A Pew analysis reveals a deep look into these trends, capturing data from 2009 to 2019. The research found that while rates of incarceration decreased, there were still high rates of drug arrests over the years.

Pew published some of their results through Twitter, highlighting some important findings. “Arrests for drug possession barely changed between 2009 and 2019, even as arrests overall plummeted by over a 1/4. Yet, the number of arrests for drug sales/manufacturing—and of people admitted to and held in prison for drug offenses—all fell by roughly a 1/3 at the same time.

They added more key findings to the thread, showing that while laws are changing, police enforcers are still ways behind.

Aside from a few exceptions, the majority of the findings were positive, including fewer charges and incarceration rates towards Black people. Evolving drug laws have also resulted in a 62% reduction in prison populations.

RELATED: How The Controlled Substance Act Created A New Form Of Modern Slavery

Troubling findings include that drug and alcohol mortality rates in prisons have increased by a small margin, 5% and 3%, respectively. Drug possession arrests barely budged, decreasing by 0.4%. There’s also the fact that while marijuana arrests have decreased, other drug arrests have increased, highlighting the racial differences in the types of drugs Black and white people use and are charged with.

marijuana arrest
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RELATED: Kentucky Bill Proposing To Ban Delta-8 Products Could Cost The State Billions Of Dollars

To gather these findings, Pew conducted an overview of national data on drug arrests and imprisonment, drug treatment, and more. The study concludes that while “shifts in drug enforcement patterns in recent decades have reduced some racial disparities and decreased prison populations, they have done little to mitigate the public health consequences of drug misuse.”

More needs to be done in order to curb the justice system’s reliance on drug incarcerations and to make sure that the law treats people fairly and equally, regardless of their race or economical status.





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