Law Office of Phil Hineman

Border Stops and Medical Marijuana

On the I-8, 15 miles east of Yuma, there is a United States Border Patrol checkpoint.  All traffic is required to stop for inspection, and while most are a brief, one question stop, you can potentially be asked to stop for further screening.  If a search of your vehicle uncovers illegal drugs, that can lead to criminal charges.  Even though medical marijuana laws have been passed in Arizona, the Border Patrol is federal enforcement and possession of marijuana is still a federal crime, regardless of a doctor’s prescription, or the state-legislated legality.  However, a partnership between the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office and the Border Patrol can lead to trouble for Arizona citizens, as some Border Patrol agents are also Yuma County deputies, and will write felony citations for possession.  Medical marijuana will be seized, but it probably would not result in charges. If you are pulled over or stopped and cited for marijuana possession, it is critical that you speak with an experienced, Arizona criminal law attorney as soon as possible.