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Marijuana possession a point of emphasis for law enforcement

There were 659,700 people taken into custody for marijuana offenses in the United States in 2017. Of those, 599,282 were taken into custody for being in possession of the substance. This was an increase from 587,516 in 2016, and there are calls to reduce the amount of time and energy spent by law enforcement focusing on those who use the drug in Tennessee and other states where it has not been legalized.

A representative from the Marijuana Policy Project said that it wasn’t a good idea to focus on a drug that hasn’t killed anyone while opiods kill 100 people per day. Overall, there were 1,632,921 people taken into custody for drug crimes in 2017. There was a drug bust once every 19 seconds on average in the country during that year while a marijuana drug bust took place once every 48 seconds.

Individuals who are charged with drug possession could face serious consequences if convicted. Penalties may include jail time or a fine in addition to possible damage done to their personal or professional reputations. Whenever a person is charged with a crime, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney to help create a defense against the charge. Defense tactics may include casting doubt on a police report or a witness statement.

It may also be possible to argue that an individual was not in possession of an illegal substance when taken into custody. Alternatively, if a person didn’t know that the substance was illegal to possess, that may be enough to obtain a favorable outcome in a legal matter. A positive outcome may mean a full acquittal for a defendant, but it could also mean a plea bargain or receiving a suspended sentence.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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