These days, there’s an ever-evolving map when it comes to what drug is legal where in the United States. The shifts in public sentiment — and the shifts in the laws — have led to a lot of confusion among consumers.
Where there’s confusion about the law, trouble soon follows. It pays to stay on top of what’s legal and what’s not. Here’s what you need to know:
Medicinal marijuana is okay, recreational weed is not — but there are catches
If you meet the requirements for a medical marijuana card and are registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, you can buy marijuana from state-sanctioned dispensaries. Recreational use of the drug is still illegal.
That being said, possession of under 10 grams for recreational use has been decriminalized. It’s now treated as a civil offense that’s more akin to a traffic ticket than anything (although if you get caught more than once, the fine goes up — and a fourth offense can net you up to a $1,000 fine and a year in prison).
Regardless of state laws, marijuana still remains a Class I narcotic under federal law with no official redeeming qualities — so that means you need to exercise caution. You could still easily fall afoul of federal authorities if you’re carrying cannabis products around in your possession.
Delta-8 and Delta-10 are legal in Maryland — for now
Delta-8 (and its cousin, Delta-10) are both cannabis derivatives that found a loophole once the Farm Bill of 2018 was passed. Currently, both are legal in Maryland — but only as long as they contain 0.3% or less delta 9 THC (the psychoactive ingredient in traditional marijuana products).
You might view that as good news if you’re interested in recreational cannabis use, but you need to be careful: Much of the supply is unregulated. The bottle may say it has less than 0.3% THC, but there’s no guarantee the label is correct. If you’re arrested, and a police lab proves the content was higher than you expected, you could be facing some serious drug charges.
The more you know, the better prepared you are to assert a strong defense against any marijuana-related drug charges you may face.