Marijuana is becoming legal in more and more places around the United States. But just because buying or using cannabis is legal where you live doesn’t mean there won’t be punishments or repercussions for doing so.
Here are seven ways you can still be punished for legally using marijuana:
1. Gun Rights
The federal government forbids gun sellers from providing guns to people who use marijuana, and they can be punished for doing so. For some reason the NRA and anti-gun groups will fight any legislation to prevent guns from getting in the hands of criminals or violent people, but they don’t care that marijuana users can’t purchase firearms.
While marijuana may be legal in your state, that doesn’t mean it’s also allowed in your workplace. Countless court cases have upheld that businesses can still drug test and fire employees for using marijuana even in legal states, except for in states that have passed protections for cannabis using workers.
Even if marijuana is legal in your state, Child Protective Services still considers it a crime since it’s illegal at the federal level, and they can remove your children from your home if you are caught using cannabis. Some states have passed laws to prevent this from happening, but there’s still a large chance you’re at risk.
Similar to employment, using marijuana can affect your housing in many different ways. You are definitely barred from living in federally-subsidized housing, and landlords can still evict you if you use cannabis and they’ve previously stated that you’re not allowed to do so on their property.
Marijuana users can also be punished when it comes to insurance. There’s basically no restrictions on what an insurance company can use as a condition for refusing to cover you, and often medical or life insurance providers use previous cannabis use as a reason to refuse people.
6. Military Service
Active-duty military members are banned from using cannabis, even if they are in a state where it’s legal and their not on duty. And veterans can risk losing their benefits if they’re caught using marijuana, even if they do so in legal states. However the military is loosening some of its stances, as it no longer automatically disqualifies someone from joining if they admit to using marijuana in the past. Although that’s more because they’re struggling to find recruits and less because they suddenly have a more tolerant attitude.
Traveling with marijuana is also incredibly complicated. For instance, airports are considered federal jurisdiction, so if you are caught with marijuana in one, you’re probably not going to get the slap on the risk you would expect when you’re in a legal state. And even if you purchase your marijuana in a legal place, as soon as you cross into state lines, you’re under a whole new set of laws and can be charged with a crime for your perfectly legal purchase.