Like many in Colorado, you may have been excited when the state voted to legalize the use of marijuana, both medicinally and recreationally. If you have registered to use medicinal marijuana or you care for people who do, you likely welcomed the state's permission to grow your own plants. It saves you money and hassle.
If you've been paying attention to the news like we have then you have likely heard about the president's most recent move to give non-violent criminals a second chance at life. He did this by granting commuted sentences to 22 individuals who were serving a considerable amount of time for non-violent drug crimes. The commuted sentences now reflect the current sentencing laws for a plethora of crimes that once had harsher punishments under the "outdated sentencing regime," the White House said.
If you pay attention to the news, then you may have learned a shocking statistic about our state as of late. In a USA Today article last month, Colorado residents learned that the number of middle school students who were caught with drugs last year set a "decade-high record" in the state. Even though a majority of school districts did not specifically name which drugs were found, some residents are pointing fingers at the state's legalization of marijuana as the reason for the increase in drug possession instances among teens.
Imagine for a moment that you are prescribed pain medication after visiting the doctor for an injury. After awhile, the pain subsides but you notice that you haven't taken all of the pills. A friend of yours has been complaining of lower back pain for weeks now so you decide to see if they want them. They do but you think back to how expensive it was to get the prescription in the first place. What would be the harm in asking for some money for your unused pills?
Just as you have to follow the law, so too do law enforcement agencies. This includes not only following state and federal laws but avoiding actions that could violate a person's constitutional rights as well.
Because marijuana was decriminalized here in Colorado recently, residents in our state enjoy less aggressive drug charges when it comes to possession of the drug. This has cut down on arrests for drug crimes, which could be saving the state considerable amounts of taxpayer dollars in the long run.
Imagine for a moment that you have just been taken into police custody, accused of possessing drugs with the intent to sell. You are taken to the police station and placed in a room with an interrogator. The interrogator wastes no time and immediately starts asking you questions about the crime you allegedly committed. What do you do?
Being charged with a drug crime in Colorado can be very scary. People who are approached by police or find themselves under investigation can be defensive or react with hostility and anger. In many of these situations, the reactions are the result of not understanding your constitutional rights.