Presented to you by Los Angeles criminal defense attorney,
Robert Helfend

Medical marijuana rights are not clear due to the conflict between state and federal laws. The legal use of marijuana has created confusion and conflict among Colorado’s residents and surrounding states. Despite the legalization, the amount of criminal defense cases resulting from smoking marijuana is still on the rise. In November 2012, the Colorado Amendment 64 gave legal rights to adults to grow a maximum of six cannabis plants. By following the strict guidelines, the cannabis plants can be harvested and enjoyed by the grower.


The conflicts between federal and state laws are part of the controversy. Although Colorado may allow for cannabis usage, federal law identifies marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. When a substance, like marijuana, is identified as belonging to Schedule I, it means that marijuana has no medically recognizable use.

Currently, the federal law does not allow for anyone to possess any amount of marijuana, which does not conform to his or her state statute. The smallest amount could theoretically lead a person to require the services of a criminal defense attorney.

 Drug Testing

Even with certain state’s legalization of marijuana, employees may be dismissed if they test positive for use. Some current state law does not protect employees who use marijuana for medical usage.

The contradictions and conflicts surrounding the use of cannabis only create more questions and controversy. Employers will have to decide if the use of marijuana among employees, while off duty, is a safety risk to the establishment. The high cost of replacing quality employees may have employers reconsidering their current position on the personal consumption of marijuana.

The use of medical marijuana is designed to help the person in need. However, the conflicts surrounding the consumption of marijuana may cause further legal troubles and problems for the consumer. If in doubt, contact your local criminal defense attorney.

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