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Can I Face Federal Charges for Transporting Cannabis Across State Lines?

Posted on in Federal Crimes

Fort Worth federal drug charges defense attorney

It seems as if drug laws in the United States are constantly changing. In 1970, the federal Controlled Substances Act classified cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug and prohibited the use of the substance for both medical and recreational purposes. In 1996, California became the first state to allow the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions. Today, marijuana may legally be used for medical purposes in the majority of the United States, and it is has been legalized for recreational use in 11 states. However, it is important to remember that a number of state and federal laws still regulate the purchase, use, cultivation, and transportation of cannabis. In some cases, a person may even face federal drug trafficking charges for moving cannabis across state lines.

Federal Laws Regulating the Transport of Marijuana

One of the most confusing aspects of cannabis laws in the United States is that although the substance is legal in many states, it still remains illegal at the federal level. According to the federal government, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Interstate transportation of marijuana or cannabis-related products is a federal crime as well as a state crime. Even if you purchase marijuana in a state in which it is legal, it is a crime to transport the drug into another state.

The severity of federal criminal consequences for trafficking cannabis is dependent upon the quantity of cannabis being transported. The transportation of fewer than 50 kilograms of marijuana may result in up to five years in prison. If the amount of marijuana being transported is between 50 and 99 kilograms, the crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. If the amount of marijuana is between 100 and 999 kilograms, the crime is punishable by up to 40 years in prison. Cases involving the transportation of over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana may even be punished by life in prison. If a person receives a second or subsequent conviction for drug trafficking, the penalties dramatically increase.

The punishments for violating the CSA can also involve hefty fines. Possession without intent to distribute is a misdemeanor that can result in a minimum fine of $1,000. Those who are involved in cannabis businesses that violate CSA rules can be charged with fines from $250,000 to $1 million.

Contact a Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are being investigated on suspicion of drug trafficking across state lines, you could face severe criminal penalties, including costly fines and significant jail time. To learn about your defense options, contact The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. Tarrant County drug trafficking defense lawyer Darlina Crowder has extensive experience successfully managing drug-related criminal cases, including those involving drug trafficking. She has obtained over 250 not guilty verdicts and acquittals in her tenure as a criminal defense attorney. Call our office today at 214-303-9600 today for a free initial consultation to find out how we can help you.

 

Sources:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/where-is-marijuana-legal-in-2020-illinois-joins-10-other-states-legalizing-recreational-pot-2020-01-01/
https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling
https://www.ussc.gov/guidelines/2018-guidelines-manual/annotated-2018-chapter-2-d#NaN

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