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Could marijuana legalization affect traffic laws?

Colorado recently legalized possession of marijuana, as well as home grows and marijuana stores for anyone over the age of 21. However, the states which border Colorado have not passed the same legislation, and what is legal on one side of the border is an offense that can lead to arrest on the other. Notably, Wyoming representatives have recently spoke out about the laws in their state. In Cheyenne, the police chief noted that all of his officers have been fully trained in drug recognition.

It is important to remember that if not in Colorado, marijuana remains illegal, and any charges will have to be addressed. Likewise, any usage of marijuana in Wyoming, for example, remains subject to their law. Much like fireworks sales along the border towns, marijuana retail locations may begin to pop up. The decision of legalization in Colorado may cause additional marijuana charges for Wyoming. Many college students who travel back and forth to school can especially at risk of possession charges,

Regardless of other states' position on marijuana, it is important to understand that drug charges can have serious consequences legally and financially, whether faced in Colorado or other states. Driving under the influence, especially, can curb the ability of the accused to find gainful employment if their sentencing requires an interlock system, felony charges or extreme fines.

An aggressive defense is necessary for drug charges due to the strong stigma against drug possession and usage and the resources of the prosecution to gather information and build a case -- possibly before the defendant has even been accused.

Source: The Fort Collins Coloradoan, "Wyo., Colo. marijuana laws collide at border," Nov. 19, 2012

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