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The Profiling Of Colorado Drivers Who Cross State Lines For Marijuana

By on Apr 17, 2013 in Blog, Boulder Colorado Law Advice Blogs | 0 comments

DUI in Colorado

How Drivers From Colorado Are Being Profiled For Marijuana

Recently, many Colorado drivers who have left the state have been complaining of something very peculiar. There have been instances where drivers are being pulled over and profiled for being from Colorado and it apparently has to do with the recent decriminalization of marijuana. This creates a few problems as you can imagine, as profiling of any sort or nature should be against the law.

The problem is that even though the drug has been outlawed in Colorado, it is still quite illegal in most other states. This is even true for those that possess medical marijuana cards, where in Colorado it is legal to possess their “medicine”, while in other states it is still outlawed and those driving outside of Colorado forget this little fact.

But law officials on the other hand have not forgotten. In fact, they know well that those driving with Colorado plates are more likely to have marijuana on them merely because it is indeed legally accepted in their home state. But police are wise to this, and feel that they are doing their job justly by ensuring any driver from Colorado does not have any sort of illegal substance on them and is either passing through or staying with it. But doesn’t that constitute profiling or police just doing their job?

Marijuana Is Legal In Colorado, But Not Once You Cross State Lines

Marijuana advocates from across the board are admonishing police departments across the nation for this apparent profiling. But they tend to forget one little fact. Marijuana has been decriminalized in Colorado, but other states do not have to allow Coloradans the same rights once they enter other states. Rather, marijuana is still very much illegal in most other states and police are well within their rights to prosecute people they find to be possessing illegal substances.

Police Profiling May Be Wrong, But Their Concerns Are Perfectly Warranted

There is no doubt that being pulled over simply for being from a certain area is wrong. Profiling, no matter how it’s done, is both morally and ethically wrong. However the concerns of officials in other states is warranted. They worry that since marijuana is now accepted in Colorado, the production and subsequent transportation to other regions is now more likely. This has also been found to be true, where large amounts of marijuana from Colorado is being found all over the nation. Which if you were a criminal makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t you produce where it is legal, and transport to areas where it is illegal to gain a higher profit?

But this is exactly the worry other states are having, which has also led to the profiling of Colorado drivers. However, the argument over this issue tends to focus on how “forward moving” Colorado is and how wrong it is to be punished for something that is legal in one place and not in others. What is often overlooked is that the residents of Colorado voted on this and it was passed, where in other states, the same was voted on and failed. Other states didn’t then say because we didn’t allow, neither should you. So how can residents of Colorado argue the opposite?

They’ve respected the decision of this state, and we should do the same for theirs. There is no logical argument any other way. The people vote on what they want, and generally, they get that. In Colorado, we now have marijuana. In other states, they don’t want it, and as such, shouldn’t be expected to have it. Neither should we worry ourselves over their decisions, as they are not ours to worry over.

So What Should Colorado Drivers Expect When Leaving The State?

In short, Coloradans should expect to be pulled over because as things are turning out, police officials are right. If every driver they pulled over from Colorado failed to have marijuana on them, most likely they would stop pulling people over from the state. No doubt, profiling is wrong. But is it wrong when the profiling is right? Or at that point is it profiling at all, or just common sense?

In the end, whether you are a casual, recreational, habitual, or medical smoker, leave your drugs at home. They have no right in any other state save for those that allow for its use. There is no point arguing this either. It’s the peoples decision, and regardless of how you view it, that does not change the fact that marijuana is illegal in most other places. People are saying that Colorado is the New Amsterdam of the West. Maybe that’s true, but just as the same was for Amsterdam, you couldn’t travel outside that region with any drugs on you as it would be illegal once you left. So let’s all just calm down a little, understand that police will be targeting Colorado drivers, as often enough their right for doing so, and respect the decisions of others, so that our decision can be equally respected.

At The Clark Law Firm, we know that the law at times can be a tricky course to navigate. Which is why if you have been charged with Sexual AssaultDrug Offenses, or any other felony or misdemeanor crimes, you should be sure to contact Phil Clark immediately so he can do what he can to help you. As a leading Boulder DUI Attorney, he has the experience and knowledge necessary to limit the damage and provide the proper defense needed.

Phil Clark is a Criminal Defense Attorney for The Clark Law Firm in Boulder, CO. His experience as a senior prosecutor gives him a strong advantage for aggressive criminal defense and those in need of a DUI lawyer. Learn more at PhilClarkLaw.com.

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