Imagine heading out of town to go hit the beach with some of your friends. You were looking forward to a nice weekend getaway, soaking up the sun and enjoying a good party. However, before you even made it out of the city, a police officer pulled you over and your weekend was interrupted by an arrest for drug possession. The law enforcement officers searched your vehicle and found marijuana, but was the search and seizure legal?
Drug laws around the country change frequently, and in order to know how the laws affect you it is important to keep up with the changes that are taking place. If you are charged with a drug crime, you want to know what the laws are regarding the charges against you, and whether there is any opportunity for a defense. Most people think there is no real defense that can be used for charges such as drug possession, but that is not necessarily the case. There are some defenses that may be able to be used, and having an attorney to help you craft your defense can give you a better chance of being successful.
Change is in the air ... or is that pot? Depending on which state you are in, the smell of marijuana in the air may be a legal one, at least under state law. Although many states like New York continue to outlaw the sale of marijuana, a handful like Colorado has made possession of the drug legal. Federal law remains the same, leading to one of the many issues world leaders tackled at a recent session at the United Nations.
Last month, New York finally launched its own medical marijuana program - making it the 23rd state in the country to legalize the medical use of cannabis. However, while this new legislation was supposed to help those patients most it need, some argue that the program is simply too restrictive for many patients to do much good.
Citing statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice, a recent report issued by the Drug Policy Alliance noted that the number of arrests in New York City for low-level marijuana possession offenses plummeted to just 16,590 in 2015 - marking the first time since 1996 that marijuana arrests have been below 17,000.