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Renewed efforts to legalize marijuana still precarious

Maryland readers are probably all aware of the discussions currently going on among lawmakers regarding the possibility of passing a measure to legalize marijuana. As elsewhere, public support for such a measure has increased in recent years, and although previous proposals in Maryland to legalize the controlled substance have failed, proponents in the legislature say it is only a matter of time before enough support is generated. Only time will tell, however.

Despite the fact that marijuana possession and use is increasingly being treated more leniently at the state level, it is still illegal under federal law. Federal prosecutorial policy regarding marijuana crimes may not be as stringent as it is for other drugs, but those who possess, use and distribute marijuana are still far from being in the free and clear.

Those who face marijuana-related charges, of course, can always benefit from a strong defense. The goal in any defense is to ensure that the defendant's rights are protected and that penalties are minimized.

Specific strategies for defense will vary according to circumstances, but in every marijuana case, it is important to scrutinize the criminal investigation to ensure everything was done correctly and that remedies are pursued when there are discrepancies. Depending on an offender's criminal history, it is possible in some cases to work out an agreement with prosecutors involving probation and/or reduction or eventual dismissal of charges. Other steps may be taken as well to ensure that a defendant has the best possible positioning in court to work toward a beneficial outcome.

Those who are facing marijuana-related charges should contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin building a solid criminal defense case. Getting an early start in the process can make all the difference in some cases.

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