Ever since the legalization of marijuana in neighboring Colorado, marijuana arrests in Utah have risen significantly. For Coloradans and Utahns alike, a legal means of obtaining marijuana has never been so accessible. But, given the influx of marijuana arrests in the Beehive state, there seems to be a misunderstanding in terms of the laws surrounding marijuana trafficking in the US. It’s important to understand that obtaining legal recreational marijuana doesn’t mean it’s legal to move the substance across state lines.
The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado and the Implications in Utah
Taking legal marijuana from one state to another constitutes a federal crime. That holds true even if you’re transporting the recreational substance from one legal state to another. As marijuana in the US is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance, its transportation across state lines is an automatic federal felony.
In fact, even if you’ve recently consumed recreational marijuana, you could still be arrested in Utah if there’s reason to believe that metabolite traces of the drug still reside in your system. While this might seem unreasonable, it’s important to realize that Utah has a strict zero tolerance law towards illegal drugs and driving.
The Penalties for Transporting Marijuana in Utah
The penalties for trafficking small amounts of marijuana or other Schedule I substances across state lines include up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. While these are the penalties for first-time offenders, a second offense includes up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum $500,000 fine. The penalties are also subject to increase when higher quantities of these substances are transported at a time, or if multiple people are involved in the trafficking.
Marijuana law is inherently complicated. While marijuana trafficking charges are particularly severe, there are a number of complications that could arise throughout an arrest that could lead to a more favorable outcome in court. As such, it’s important to maintain an understanding of the laws surrounding marijuana, as well as your rights if arrested. It’s also highly recommended you hire a knowledgeable attorney should an arrest occur.
Having an Experienced Marijuana Attorney by Your Side
If you’ve been charged with a metabolite DUI in Utah, you’ll need an experienced attorney with a wealth of knowledge regarding these complicated laws. A criminal defense attorney like Clayton Simms can help you determine the best course of action based on your charges, and can even help you turn your marijuana charges in your favor. Visit his site today to learn more.