November brought a change to Colorado's laws that pit the state's law against federal drug law and its enforcement. By legalizing marijuana, Coloradoans brought forth more complexities than just the question of what DUID limits for the drug should be as discussed in the January 22nd blog titled "How stoned is too stoned to drive?"

The new laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado may prevent state authorities from arresting citizens. However, pot is still illegal under federal law and anyone taking a toke is committing a federal crime and could potentially be arrested for a Class A misdemeanor or a Class C felony, depending on their prior criminal history and what they are planning on doing with the drug.

Although unlikely that any action will be taken by the federal government, it remains a possibility until Congress or the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) starts to reconsider its national policy for marijuana. Reclassifying, legalizing, and reducing the penalties are a start that some consider steps in the right direction to solving this conundrum and solve the face-off between state rights and federal rights starting to brew over the drug.

Many see this movement to legalization as the next step to experimenting on the effects of legal use of marijuana and whether it will actually lead to more crime, an increase in hard drug use, or a more complacent and chilled out generation. Whatever the effects, many suggest that the states are the right "laboratory" to experiment in. Only time will tell if that is a true sentiment and only in trying will society know for sure.

With the instability in marijuana law and the changing interpretations, please keep in mind that ignorance of the law is no excuse and there are still regulations as to how much marijuana you can have in your possession, legal sales, and how much you can have in your system while driving. That is why a relationship to a trusted attorney who practices in the area of marijuana law is essential to protecting your rights and ensuring that you stay out of legal trouble.

Source: Time, "Will States Lead the Way to Legalizing Marijuana Nationwide?," Adam Cohen, Jan. 28, 2013