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4-1 Discussion: Discretionary Laws

4-1 Discussion

Q Marijuana use in the United States is a controversial topic, in part because laws vary from state to state. In some states, it is completely legal; in others, it is completely illegal. There are also states where the distinction is blurred, where marijuana is legalized for medicinal purposes or decriminalized. View this Map of Marijuana Legality by State for an overview of how laws vary. In this discussion, we will explore how laws affect discretionary decisions in criminal justice. First, research the marijuana laws in your state: Go to State Laws Click on your state Under “Criminal Laws,” click on “Marijuana Laws” Next, read the scenario below and consider your discretionary powers regarding the laws: You are a police officer on routine patrol in the state where you reside. It’s 11:00 p.m. and while touring your beat, you observe a woman standing on the sidewalk smoking a “joint.” After conducting a field interview, you discover the woman is directly in front of her home, is 45 years of age, and smokes recreationally. The only marijuana she has in her possession is the joint, which is less than 10 grams. Depending on the state you live in, you have several options for how to proceed. What do you do? In your initial post, provide a brief overview of the marijuana laws in your state. Be sure to cite any laws using APA style. Describe how you would proceed in the scenario above. Explain how the marijuana laws in your state affect your decision. Do the laws limit your discretionary power? How do the laws inhibit or rely on discretion? What situational or external factors may affect your decision?

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California maryjane laws changed definitely with the decriminalization of ownership (under 28.5 grams) and legitimization of clinical weed in 1996. The state's pot laws were definitely loosened up by and by in 2016 after electors supported Proposition 64