Marijuana Law: Following much debate, Utah’s medical marijuana law will finally become effective July 1. Otherwise known as “Charlee’s Law,” the legislation will permit those suffering from severe epileptic seizures to be prescribed a specific form of cannabis oil.
Essentially, the new law will protect those found with this particular marijuana extract from drug possession charges so long as they meet certain requirements, which include having a current “hemp extract registration card” issued by the Department of Health and using the extract only to treat intractable epilepsy. In order to obtain a registration card, the suffering patient – or his or her parent if the patient is a child – must provide a signed statement from a neurologist that indicates the patient suffers from intractable epilepsy and that he or she may benefit from treatment using the marijuana extract.
There are some additional requirements outlined under the law as well. For instance, the marijuana oil extract must be composed of at least 15 percent cannabidiol – the ingredient that provides the medicinal benefits – and less than 0.3 percent of THC – the mind-altering ingredient in marijuana.
Will the new law impact other marijuana laws in Utah?
However, the extremely limited scope of this new law cannot be emphasized enough. In no way does this legislation legalize medical marijuana in every shape and form, let along authorize the recreational use of the drug. Indeed, the penalties in Utah continue to remain significant for those found in illegal possession of marijuana, particularly for repeat offenders. For example, in Utah:
- Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor
- A second conviction for the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor
- A third conviction for the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a third degree felony
Moreover, the possession of more than 16 ounces of marijuana is automatically a third degree felony, regardless of whether the alleged offender has a prior conviction or not.
It is also worth noting that just because the recreational use of marijuana may be legal in neighboring Colorado, that does not mean a person can go there, bring it back to Utah, and not expect criminal punishment if found with the drug. Not only may this person be subject to Utah drug laws, but federal laws as well, particularly if the alleged offense involved the crossing of state lines.
Given the severity of punishment associated with drug possession laws in Utah, it is crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you find yourself at the wrong end of drug charges. A knowledgeable attorney can fully explain your options and help ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
Reference : Explore more about Medical Marijuana Law Utah