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Federal Implications of Legalization of Cannabis in Colorado

Although the state of Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, it is still classified as a controlled substance and considered to be illegal under federal law. These differences in legalities can create challenges for residents and visitors to Colorado who may have trouble discerning where/when the law applies and where/when it doesn’t. If you are accused of a drug crime, it is crucial to discuss your case with a knowledgeable Denver federal criminal defense attorney.   

It is not uncommon for attorneys to face ethical challenges regarding upholding federal law while protecting clients under state legislature.

Challenges include helping clients in the following situations:

  • Attorneys who practice in federal drug crimes while using legalized marijuana for stress relief in their state;
  • Federal employees are legally obligated to refrain from marijuana use despite it being legal in the state in which they live;
  • Students who are receiving federal financial aid but who reside in a cannabis legal state can lose their financial aid if they are caught with cannabis;
  • Residents of Colorado who wish to purchase firearms, which requires answering questions about marijuana use;
  • Federal housing residents who can lose their housing if charged with possession; and
  • If a person is caught on public land with marijuana, it is illegal, including national parks, ski slopes and military bases

Where Do State and Federal Law Meet?

In some circumstances, the state and federal legislature will work together.  These include crimes regarding marijuana. 

Federal and state law enforcement work together on:

  • Prevention of distribution of cannabis to minors
  • Prevention of drugged driving
  • Prevention of growing cannabis on public lands
  • Prevention of drug transportation into states where it is illegal

Request Your Free Consultation Today: (303) 622-3281

Even though the state of Colorado’s legislature has legalized marijuana, it is still illegal at the federal level. If you are charged with a federal drug crime, you need to work with a Denver drug crime attorney who understands federal law and how it applies to your situation.  Attorney David. L. Owen, Jr., P.C. can help you navigate the court process and will fight for you during your case. 

If you have been charged with a drug crime, contact the firm to discuss your case today in a free consultation. Call (303) 622-3281.