The Legalization of Marijuana (And its Impact on Criminal Law)

Marijuana Legalization in Washington

Marijuana Legalization in Washington

In 2012, the State of Washington passed Initiative 502 in order to legalize the usage of recreational marijuana. According to Washington law adults 21 years or older are allowed to possess up to an ounce of the plant itself, 16 ounces of edible gummies, 72 ounces in liquid form, and or 7 ounces of concentrates. While the legalization of recreational marijuana has said to have supposed benefits like increasing tax revenues, improving public health, and a number of other claims, this has not been without leaving its impact on criminal law within the State of Washington. Both criminal defense firms and prosecutors have had to adjust their perspective on the world of drugs, along with the tactics and strategies that are used within this realm. 

Volume of convictions

The volume of marijuana-related arrests and convictions has decreased significantly after the legalization of marijuana was enacted. Due to this enactment, criminal defense firms saw a decrease in marijuana related cases, with a rise in cases involving other drugs such as methamphetamine and opioids. The sentences and punishments for possessing marijuana have become less severe, changing how criminal defense firms approach marijuana-related cases. As a result, criminal defense firms have learned to adapt their strategies and broaden their level of knowledge in order to best serve their clients. At the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer, our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to defend you in a court of law against drug charges.

Some restrictions still apply With Marijuana Legalization in Washington

While marijuana has more or less been accepted in the public eye along with laws being passed that legalize it, that isn’t to say it can be used without restrictions. An example of a well known restriction is the amount you can carry as mentioned previously in this article, but there are also a number of other restrictions that are also imposed along with the legal usage of marijuana like any other mind altering drug or substance like alcohol. 

Another restriction applies to when and where you can use marijuana products. Marijuana products cannot be used in public at all and must be used within the privacy of your own home. The owner of the property you live on can also restrict your use if you yourself are not the property owner. Driving under the influence of marijuana is also still prohibited and can result in DUI charges. The consequences of breaking these restrictions can result in civil lawsuits and charges ranging from misdemeanors to gross misdemeanors, carrying potential penalties of jail time, possible fines, and a criminal record.

Although, marijuana use has become more acceptable, it is important to know that legal issues may still occur due to smaller, more nuanced restrictions and laws. This requires criminal defense attorneys to have a deep understanding of the laws and restrictions that apply to marijuana, along with a considerable amount of experience. The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer are both experienced and knowledgeable in this area, working diligently to provide great results.

Understanding your legal rights

Since marijuana-related arrests and convictions have decreased significantly, it has also freed up the resources and time of law enforcement, courts, and correctional facilities. Those resources are now being used to address other crimes in the State of Washington. This makes it all the more important to have legal representation if you have charges brought against you to ensure the best possible outcome. Additionally, if you have been charged with marijuana charges in the past you can apply for retroactive action to vacate or dismiss those charges under certain circumstances with the help of an attorney. If you are interested in the process or would like to know if you are eligible for this retroactive application call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer to discuss your case and options so we can best serve you. We are dedicated to advocate for your case to the fullest extent and are highly experienced in this area.

Devoted to helping you

Marijuana and other drug-related charges can be challenging to face even with initiatives such as Initiative 502 legalizing the usage of recreational marijuana because the State of Washington takes them very seriously. The most important step you can take to defend yourself and your freedom is to hire a defense attorney. Defending drug charges takes a skilled, knowledgeable, attorney who is familiar and up to date with current drug enforcements. The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer have been helping a number of clients, even before Initiative 502 was put in place and have stayed up to date on current drug enforcement to provide you with the best possible defenses.

If you are facing any drug charges, marijuana related legal issues, or would like to explore your options on potentially applying for retroactive action on previous marijuana charges call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer to schedule a free confidential consultation today.