Many states are decriminalizing marijuana, but this doesn’t mean that it is fully legal. The federal government still has it listed as a Schedule I drug, which means that you can face criminal charges for having it even if it is decriminalized on a state level.
On Nov. 20, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee voted on a bill that would remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and it passed. It is expected that will pass the full House when it is presented; however, it will probably have a tougher time in the Senate. The Senate is controlled by Republicans with Mitch McConnell serving as the Majority Leader. He has clearly noted that he is against the legalization of this substance.
More than half of the drug arrests in this country are due to marijuana. Legalizing it on a federal level would cut down on some of the congestion in the court system; however, the bill allows each state to decide how to handle marijuana. It also includes a 5% tax on products containing cannabis. The funds would go to help people who are impacted by the war on drugs to receive legal assistance and job training.
While there is progress regarding the legal status of marijuana, it is still possible for people to face criminal charges for it now. If you are in this position, you need to start working on your defense now. There are many consequences that can come with these types of drug charges, so be sure you consider those as you try to develop the defense strategy you will use.