By now it is common knowledge that a handful of states have legalized marijuana. The first wave of legalization was for medicinal purposes, but in some states with those laws the move to legalize the drug for recreational use has also been made. Paving the way for more lenient laws regarding marijuana use was the State of Colorado. Now, the rocky mountain state is fighting a new battle regarding their use laws. A proposal to create a bank that would service the marijuana industry. This proposal was quickly shot down by the federal government, because the laws on marijuana legalization are not uniform across the states and there are still federal laws in place against use and/or possession, among other activities.
Not having a banking institution that can service lawful marijuana activity may not seem like a big deal, but it does present several problems. Some of the more significant problems for the $700 million a year industry includes:
- Banking institutions that accept deposits related to marijuana transactions will not be able to redeposit those funds into the Federal Reserve system.
- Those companies engaged in lawful marijuana related practices in Colorado will have to do so on a cash only basis without the backing of a bank that would provide the benefits of electronic banking as well as issuing credit.
The decision may be revisited, but for now the ruling leaves the marijuana industry in a difficult spot. This is due in part to inconsistent laws on the issue between the states as well as federal laws in place that make these activities illegal. And here at home, at least for now, engaging in the sale or distribution of a controlled substance is defined as a crime. The punishment for drug crimes in Florida depends on the substance as well as the volume. Whether you are a first time or repeat offender also plays a part in how severe the punishment for your case will be. The same is true for simple possession in Florida. If you have been charged with a drug related crime, call us for help.
If you have questions about drug charges, call our office for answers. Schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.