If you’re among others in California who keep up on current events, you likely have heard various news updates regarding marijuana use in the United States. A highly controversial topic in some areas, ongoing debates regarding whether this drug should be federally legalized have been raging for several years. While many believe that most people use or have tried marijuana at some point in their lives, statistics negate this claim. Current data shows only approximately seven percent of the population has used marijuana.
While recreational and medical use of marijuana is legal under state law in California, possessing, using or selling it remains prohibited under federal law. This contrast has created confusion on many occasions. Whether you’re someone who advocates occasional use of marijuana or someone who has run into trouble with the law because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, seeking clarification of laws that pertain to your situation may help mitigate the potential negative impact if you are facing legal challenges involving this drug.
Various adverse effects associated with marijuana
Although some people believe marijuana is generally harmless, scientific evidence shows otherwise. Did you know even casual use of this drug can negatively affect your sensory and perception capabilities, as well as your memory and coordination? The following list suggests other potentially harmful consequences of marijuana use:
- Physical and cognitive impairment: Marijuana can impede the function of your cardio and respiratory systems. You may also experience difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly.
- Mental health risks: There is ample evidence that high doses of marijuana can induce psychotic episodes and chronic use of the drug may place you at risk to develop schizophrenia.
- Addiction: If you tend to struggle with addictions, you may want to avoid using marijuana as it can become highly addictive for some people.
- Family, school, work and legal problems: Marijuana use can create problems with your employer regarding chemical test results, can result with a crime charge during a traffic stop, or can create issues at school or at home.
The most obvious way to avoid the health-related problems mentioned above is to abstain from marijuana use altogether. However, if you’re one of the many people whose seizure symptoms have been greatly alleviated from medical use of the drug, or you have merely exercised your rights to use it as state law allows, you may not think abstinence is right for you.
Where to seek help if problems arise
At the federal level, marijuana is considered a Schedule I substance, making distribution, as well as medical use of it, a federal offense. California was the first state to legalize medical usage of marijuana in 1996. Since then, many other states have adapted laws allowing medical and/or recreational use of the drug. These laws vary greatly, and if you are facing charges for a marijuana crime, you might wonder how to best seek support in order to resolve the situation in a positive manner.
One of the easiest means to increase your chances of avoiding conviction is to retain immediate assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Some criminal lawyers are former prosecutors. This may be of particular benefit to someone in your situation because a defense attorney with experience on both sides of the criminal justice system has insight into the aggressive tactics and strategies often employed by prosecutors. By allowing a highly skilled attorney to act on your behalf in court you may be able to successfully fight against the charges you now face.