Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana a few years ago, but law enforcement is still trying to figure out how to monitor for drugged driving and other related crimes. Police currently have no way to accurately verify whether someone with marijuana in his or her possession has a valid medical marijuana license, which may result in improper drug charges. Law enforcement is currently not able to access the database that keeps track of licensed medical marijuana users.
One the reasons for this disconnect is because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is a federal agency, which does not recognize the state’s medical marijuana law. This may complicate a person’s ability to own a firearm, as the organization requires an applicant to answer honestly about his or her drug use. There is confusion in Pennsylvania about what law enforcement can do and how police officers can accurately charge individuals without violating constitutional rights.
There are claims that the legalization of medical marijuana leads to more drugged driving and other marijuana-related problems. Police officers also sometimes struggle to correctly identify drug paraphernalia. As a result, it is quite possible a driver with a valid medical cannabis license could face criminal charges or a driver may be erroneously charged with drug violations.
A person facing drug charges in Pennsylvania would be wise not to delay in getting the help he or she needs to effectively defend against the charges. No matter the nature of the specific case, these charges can carry serious penalties under conviction. Due to the confusion over the state’s treatment of medical marijuana, accused individuals will want to seek legal help regarding how they can protect their rights and interests.