Thursday, May 5, 2011

Boise Criminal Attorney - Idaho Criminal Defense Lawyer - Medical Marijuana

Boise Criminal Lawyer, DUI Attorney, Criminal Defense Lawyers, call (208) 472-2383

Medical marijuana has come to the forefront of criminal law issues primarily because it is legal in some states and not legal in others.  In addition, in those states where it is legal, the laws governing possession of marijuana for medical use vary from state to state.

The biggest issue Idaho is confronted with and the one I see the most often as a Boise Criminal Lawyer, is when an individual holds a medical marijuana card from a state where possession is legal for medical purposes and they enter Idaho with their "medicine".  In their home state their possession is legal, but once they cross state lines does their possession become a matter of criminal law?

The Idaho Supreme Court has not yet addressed the issue of possession of medical marijuana in Idaho by an individual with a valid marijuana prescription from another state.  According to the United States Constitution, Idaho should recognize the validity of the prescription and not treat it as a criminal matter because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause.  So far, this has not been the case.  In March of this year a woman from Humbolt County, California was arrested for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia in Freemont County, Idaho.  Although she had a valid medical marijuana card she was arrested, according to the prosecuting attorney in Freemont County, because Idaho does not recognize medical marijuana cards from other states.  The woman plead guilty to possession and went on her way.

Although Idaho should afford Full Faith and Credit to the marijuana laws of other states it is unlikely that it will.  Idaho is a conservative state and will undoubtedly use the "Public Policy" exception to get out of honoring sister state's laws.  Think if the laws of other states were not honored in other areas.  Idaho, prior to 1996, recognized common law marriage, but many other states do not.  Because of Full Faith and Credit, if I were common law married in Idaho my marriage would be recognized as valid in a state that did not have a common law marriage law.  Another example is divorce.  Idaho has several grounds for divorce but not all states have the same grounds.  What if I am divorced in Idaho on the grounds of extreme cruelty and then I step into a state that does not recognize those grounds.  Would my divorce be valid?  Yes, it is because of Full Faith and Credit.

As for criminal law, the Full Faith and Credit Clause applies as well.  Domestic Violence orders will be recognized by other states besides the issuing one.  As for medical marijuana, however, it remains to be seen.  My advice if you are like that poor woman from Humbolt County?  Get a good Boise Criminal Lawyer who can either get you a good plea bargain or take your case to the Supreme Court.

If you have been charged with a crime in Idaho, including DUI, and need to speak to a Boise Criminal Lawyer, please call (208) 472-2383.


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