Where a door is closed on an old law, a window is opened for a new one…
Weed is becoming legal in a growing number of places around the United States. Growing it, buying it, consuming it medically and now recreationally, but… yes, there’s always that “but”. You can grow it, BUT only a certain amount, and in some places only if you’re licensed and located within a properly zoned area… and you most certainly cannot, according to law, sell it without a license, especially to an unlicensed “retailer”. You also cannot consume it until you are of legal age, but still not within the public eye, and especially not if you plan on driving a vehicle. Fact is, the term “legal” is very subjective to what you’re doing and where & how you’re doing it. Not realizing the “but” of the law can quickly turn you into an ass.
Most law enforcement officials do not like to spend their time purposefully seeking out stoners to apprehend or make an example of, they mostly view them as a low-priority waste of time & tax-payer dollars. However, if you happen to be one of those unfortunate souls who ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing, you’ll find out soon enough how little freedom you actually have with a so-called “legal” substance.
Just look at alcohol as an example: you can buy it pretty much anywhere and go almost anywhere that serves food & they will have it and allow you to consume it there, to an extent- which the latter is a freedom that many dispute should also be awarded to cannabis users- but that doesn’t mean trouble is far away. If you drink and drive and are caught, it’s typically an automatic DUI, a huge fine and sometimes a night or more in jail. This is understandable, considering how badly alcohol affects one’s judgment and reflexes. If you drink too much it’s quite easy to do something idiotic and draw the wrong attention to yourself, as typically one’s inhibitions and tact disappear.
Such an adverse reaction may not be the case for someone just using cannabis, even though they would be treated the same way if caught by law enforcement. Many people claim they can operate a vehicle, or do just about anything with normality under the influence of marijuana, however this matters very little to a judge. You unfortunately do not get to prove yourself via an agility test or IQ exam while pulled over on the side of the road, or while stoned at your court hearing. In fact, if you do go to court stoned after you’ve committed a felony or infraction involving marijuana, one would have to question your sanity, because whether weed is legal or not, it is “highly” frowned upon to be stoned in front of an official of the law, especially when you’re already in trouble. They care not about how well you do anything when you’re high, they only care that you were high while doing something they did not permit you to do, as well as your display of carelessness in doing such.
It’s wise to remember that anything can become legal, but there will always exist the “freedom kill switch”: that equal and opposite reaction to legalization that really only makes it quasi-legal. It is typical that more freedoms are potentially taken away when something is legalized, due to the creation of new laws which protect the public and make them feel more secure about what was just legalized. Certainly the safest thing you can do in any scenario is ALWAYS EXERCISE YOUR COMMON SENSE & NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING IS OK, or you may experience the wrath of the law’s dreaded “but” end. No one, and I mean NO ONE wants to be caught up in the government legal system for enjoying marijuana. IMO that’s as lame as getting your finger amputated from getting an infection from a paper-cut.
Here are some links to marijuana laws, state by state as well as national (federal), because it’s good for us to brush up on the facts once in awhile:
U.S. Federal Law: https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/state-laws-related-to-marijuana