What happens after you legalize marijuana?

Most people people believe that the legalization of personal marijuana use is coming - it's only a matter of time. Two states - Washington and Colorado - have already legalized the  personal use of marijuana. A number of others have allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes - and the list continues to grow.

One of the first questions you face after you allow the personal use of marijuana is how to regulate it. That issue is the subject of an op-ed piece in the New York Times. Washington  has  hired a drug policy expert - Mark Kleiman - to lead a team to come up with a proposal to regulate the industry.

They have already submitted a proposal which includes a number of recommendations. One is to limit the size of producers since the goal of large companies is to maximize profits - which necessarily involves increasing use. to address that, limiits on advertising are also suggested. Quality control is also an issue that must be addressed.

No matter what proposal they come up, you still have federal enforcement to contend with. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and distributors could be subject to prosecution. I don't think that is going to change any time soon. So the question becomes, once you legalize it, how do people get it?

No matter what happens in the rest of the Country, you need to remember that possession of marijuana is still illegal in Texas - even small quantities that are only for personal use. In Waco and McLennan County there are still a large number of cases filed for marijuana possession. Whether its a good policy or not, the fact is you can still be prosecuted, and end up with criminal record. If you do get rarrested on a marijuana charge make sure you hire a good lawyer - it's not something you should take lightly.

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