Marijuana is the subject of hot debate, as it has been from the 60’s. Each of the states has their own laws regarding the possession, use, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana, a drug derived from the cannabis plant.
While each state may have variations in their laws for marijuana, federal law automatically trumps any state law. While this is good in theory, it doesn’t always work that way as federal laws are not necessarily enforced at the state level.
In California, for example, medical marijuana has been legalized for the treatment of patients with cancer and other maladies. The manufacture of a variety of different products containing marijuana, from smokeable products to candies and foods, is legal for the purpose of serving patients.
Federal laws dictate that possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to $1,000 and even a year of jail, for a first-time offender. For a second offense, there is a mandatory sentence of 15 days and up to 2 years in prison. The penalties are even more severe for a third offense.
For selling marijuana, under 50 kilos will end with up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The amounts increase until from 1,000 or more kilos the penalties are 10 years to life in prison and a $4,000,000 fine, at worst.
While in states, like California, that have legalized ‘medical marijuana,’ growers and manufacturers may grow very comfortable with the state-legal practice, federal law still trumps state law. So, makers of marijuana products can be taken down, at any time, by federal agents enforcing federal laws, not allowing exception or justification due to the state law.