Wait! Isn’t Weed Legal?

The Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling that unanimously held that the smell of marijuana is not sufficient probable cause for police to arrest or search a person.

People are asking me “but I though weed was legal?” I think it’s time for a bit of drug primer.

Possession of marijuana less than 10 grams is punishable by a Civil Citation –  meaning a fine. If you are under 21, you must appear in court and cannot pay the fine ahead of the court date.

But weed isn’t really legal and you can find yourself jammed up in a hurry. Here’s a few scenarios and why you should always consult with an attorney for drug charges.

You are driving your car and miss a stop sign. Flashing lights behind you appear and you pull over. You roll down the window and the officer says “show me your license and have you been smokin’?” You give him the license and say “just a blunt.” Cool, right? Maybe not. There’s a big difference between an arrest which cannot be made based on the amount of weed and ordering you out of the car and searching your car.

Now, you say “but I really only had a blunt.” No big deal, right? Except your friend in the car put a backpack in the back seat and inside that backpack are some percocets. Now you’re being busted for a drug charge and not getting a ticket for missing the stop sign and a citation for the blunt.

But hold up, that’s not my drugs! Except that the State is going to argue that it was within your reach. Maybe it was your bag, you had knowledge of the drugs and possession of drugs that carries jail time.

This new case is huge, but most people aren’t going to be able to navigate how to properly use it without legal training. If you get pulled over and searched, if drugs or a gun are found, you most definitely should get a lawyer that will understand how to fight the search and how to fight the possession charge.

Catch a Charge? Get Finegarlaw!