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Taking marijuana across state lines can lead to criminal charges

Colorado has long had a healthy tourist industry fueled by our state's natural beauty. But when our state legalized recreational marijuana, people started visiting our state for other reasons. While the boost to our state's economy has been welcomed by some, it has not come without its problems either.

That's because even though marijuana is legal within the state, the same is not true once you cross state lines. This counts as a federal offense and can lead to possession and drug trafficking charges. And depending on the amount you are trying to transport, this could lead to serious penalties including severe fines and lengthy prison sentences if convicted.

A Colorado resident who is accustomed to keeping marijuana in their vehicle could find themselves facing serious criminal charges if they were to cross state lines, even if they were not trying to traffic the drug intentionally. Forgetting it is there may not be a valid enough excuse to prevent your arrest or even federal charges, which could lead to litigation and the need for a good attorney.

Colorado residents are not the only people who could face potential drug trafficking charges for crossing state lines. Out-of-state visitors could easily run into legal problems if marijuana is found in their possession upon returning home. And depending on the laws in that particular state, penalties could be just as severe as those imposed under federal law.

It's important for our readers to remember that they do have the right to legal representation in the event that they are arrest and are facing federal drug charges. An attorney is able to not only explain your rights but help protect them as well. They are also often able to answer your most pressing legal questions and give you advice on how to proceed in a manner that is in your best interest.

Sources: The United States Drug Enforcement Administration, "Federal Trafficking Penalties," Accessed Aug. 20, 2014

CBS News, "Trafficking Colorado's pot to neighboring states," Aug. 4, 2014

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