What Changing Marijuana Laws Mean for You

The laws on medical and recreational marijuana use are changing quickly. Recreational use is now legal throughout Canada. More than half of all U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana use and 18% allow for recreational use. It is important to understand the laws where you live.

  • U.S. Federal Law – Federal law prohibits the use and sale of marijuana. Never travel across state lines or national borders with marijuana, even when traveling to a state where possession is legal. Borders are under federal jurisdiction and federal drug charges are serious.
  • State Laws – Under various state laws, marijuana is legal for recreational use in nine states and for medical use in thirty. This means there are vast differences in the laws between many neighboring states. What’s acceptable under state law in Colorado could land you a $1,000 fine and six months in jail in neighboring Kansas. Even in states where recreational use is legal, there are restrictions on age, how much any one person may have and who may distribute. Make sure you are clear on the laws where you live.
  • Canada – In June 2018, Canada passed the Cannabis Act, which legalized recreational marijuana across the country. The law will took effect on October 17, 2018. After that date it will be up to provincial authorities to set age limits, rules on storage, sales, personal cultivation and use in public. It is up to the individuals to understand the laws where they live.
  • DUI – Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal, dangerous and could lead to serious criminal charges. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, contact your LegalShield provider firm right away to discuss your legal options.
  • Employment – In the U.S. and Canada, employers are free to set their own policies about recreational marijuana use. You could be fired from your job or denied a job if you test positive for marijuana use. Make sure you understand your employer’s policy on marijuana use.

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