More and more states are heading toward legalizing recreational marijuana. You may be wondering, if you buy marijuana legally in another state, can you bring it back home to Utah?
It’s important to understand laws for transporting marijuana so you don’t find yourself in unexpected legal trouble.
Utah Marijuana Laws
Recreational marijuana is illegal in Utah.
However, medical marijuana was recently legalized. In order to get medical marijuana, patients are required to keep a valid ID card showing they can purchase and possess cannabis for medical purposes.
Federal Marijuana Laws
Under federal law, marijuana is illegal. It is considered a Schedule I substance, the same classification as cocaine and heroin.
How can marijuana be illegal at the federal level but legal in some states? Typically, federal law enforcement doesn’t focus on prosecuting marijuana activity that is legal within the state. For example, they are not concerned with penalizing dispensaries that are following state regulations.
However, traveling across state lines with marijuana, even if it is legally obtained, is a different story.
You are required to follow the laws of the state that you are in. For that reason, you cannot bring recreational marijuana into Utah, even if you purchased it legally in Colorado.
Transporting marijuana across state lines is a federal offense. If you are caught traveling from Colorado to Utah with marijuana in your vehicle, you could face federal drug trafficking charges - even if you only have a small amount. That is not something you want to risk.
For a first-offense federal drug trafficking charge, you could face:
- Up to five years in jail
- Up to $250,000 in fines
This penalty will become even more severe if you have over 50 kg of marijuana in your possession.
Salt Lake City Marijuana Attorneys
When you are traveling this summer, make sure you know the laws of the state you’re visiting. While you may be free to engage in recreational marijuana use in Colorado, don’t make the mistake of trying to bring it home.
If you find yourself facing drug charges, our attorneys at Lokken & Putnam, P.C. can help. We have handled numerous cases at the state and federal level, and we can help you build a strong defense. Call us at (801) 829-9783 to get started.