What You Need to Know About Marijuana and Federal Law

 Posted on June 08, 2023 in Drug Crimes

IL defense lawyerCriminal defense attorneys handle cases involving drug charges all the time. One of the most common questions that many clients ask attorneys in states where marijuana is legal is how can marijuana be legal in Illinois yet still be federally illegal nationwide. Unfortunately, misconceptions regarding the law have led to many misunderstandings regarding the implications of marijuana crimes in Illinois. As a result, it is essential to explain the law regarding marijuana in Illinois and situations where selling and transporting marijuana can lead to serious federal charges. As always, hire an experienced attorney if you are facing a legal situation involving drug charges and marijuana.

Understanding the Legal Landscape of Marijuana in Illinois and the United States

Despite the passing of state marijuana laws in Illinois, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Cannabis, currently a Schedule 1 drug, is regulated under the Controlled Substances Act. This fact has led to complications in the criminal justice system. The legal theory of dual sovereignty is anchored on the idea that federal and state law enforcement stand independently of each other. So, when state and federal laws conflict, things can get very dicey.

What Are Examples of When Selling Marijuana Can Be a Federal Offense?

Here is the thing: just because marijuana is legal in Illinois does not mean you can do whatever you want with it. In fact, certain scenarios can constitute federal charges. For example, suppose you live in Illinois, visit a marijuana dispensary, and purchase the maximum amount of marijuana allowed by Illinois law. You then proceed to mail the marijuana, which you bought legally, to somewhere else in the United States. This would constitute a federal crime, as you cannot send marijuana via the United States Postal Service. What if you decided that instead of mailing marijuana, you would instead transport marijuana edibles across state lines yourself? This, too, would constitute a federal crime, as the interstate transportation of marijuana edibles is a federal offense.

What Should You Do if You Are Facing Federal Drug Charges?

If you are facing federal marijuana charges, it is imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney, as this may be your best option as you look to fight these charges and pursue a favorable case outcome. Conversely, failing to hire an attorney will likely result in a non-favorable case outcome.

Contact a Chicago Federal Drug Crimes Attorney

For legal representation, contact the Chicago, Illinois, federal drug crimes lawyer with Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation.


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