Getting on the Right Side of the Law: It's No Joke

If you use medical marijuana, it’s important to stay on the right side of law enforcement. This may seem like a daunting task, since many folks interpret police as ready to lock them up if they are caught with marijuana. This varies by state, but evidence has shown that law enforcement has become accepting of marijuana for medical purposes, and even small amounts that individuals use, depending on what state they are in. If you’re wondering what steps you can take to get on the right side of law enforcement, and why you should do so, read on to discover the importance of presenting yourself in the right light.

Know How the Laws Apply in Your State

Before going any further, it’s crucial you make yourself aware of the laws in your state, and figure out what is acceptable. Although it is being legalized for recreational purposes in new states, in some states, any possession of marijuana is a crime, regardless of where you are from. In other cases, individuals only get charged with a civil ticket, depending on the city and state. Know how certain factors will affect you such as:

• Having baggies and other equipment, such as scales. This signals to police that you have an intent to distribute, which they are never okay with.
• Providing marijuana to individuals underage. While selling is never okay (in medically-approved states, individuals must get their marijuana from a dispensary), be aware that selling marijuana to a child or teenager comes with additional penalties that cannot be avoided.
• Taking marijuana across state lines. This is sometimes viewed as the intent to distribute, but even in states that have approved marijuana, it isn’t acceptable to take the plants from one state to another, especially if you cross a state that has zero tolerance for it.

Take Care of Where You Use Your Marijuana

If you are using medically, it is best to keep the marijuana at home and use it there. Although some folks might feel comfortable having it with them in case they run into problems and need to medicate while they are out, this is not a good idea. You may be viewed as being under the influence, which is no different than drinking, even if the marijuana is helping your medical condition for the better. Officers are more likely to search your car than they are your home (unless there is some specific, pressing reason for them to do so). Be conscious of where you are using your marijuana, and understand that home is almost always the best place. If your state offers medical marijuana cards, or anything similar, be sure to carry one on you always. This will be further proof that you are given marijuana for medical purposes, and will make your case stronger if you must go to court.

Be Honest

Most police officers are used to folks beating around the bush or even outright lying. Although it may seem scary, admitting that you have medical marijuana on your person or in your car if you are stopped is the best policy. Police will let you know they appreciate your honesty, and may be more willing to work with you, especially if the amount is small and/or strictly for medical purposes. If you are ever in another situation again where you need to deal with law enforcement, and they recall this encounter, it works in your favor.

Know How Your Actions Affect Others

Understand how your actions affect other individuals who need to use medical marijuana. If you portray yourself as calm, respectful, and have the ability to use your medical marijuana in the right place and time, you portray to law enforcement that medical users are not the typical “stoner” they associate marijuana with. Folks with various ailments, such as arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, and other problems use marijuana. Understand that your actions as a respectful, law-abiding citizen go a long way in showing not everyone uses irresponsibly, or for the intent of selling. If you are ever asked to sell marijuana, direct individuals to see a doctor who can assist them, and visit a place that can legally sell to them, such as this San Diego Dispensary.

If you are a medical marijuana user, you will encounter law enforcement at some point. Always remain calm and view honesty as the best policy. This is important in establishing trust with the police local to your area. Know the laws for your state, and make a point to only use at home, for the safety of yourself and others. If you follow this advice, you can gain the trust and be on the good side of the police force in your area.

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