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Vaping leads to new offenses, more enforcement resources

Even as marijuana use gains popularity and acceptance across the country, law enforcement agencies continue to pour resources into pursuing marijuana-related crimes. This includes states like Iowa where marijuana remains illegal on the state level. 

However, officials are not just arresting people for traditional use, possession, sale and manufacturing. They are expanding their efforts to enforce marijuana-related crimes, thanks to vaping.

A new method, new offenses

Vaping is a relatively new way for people to consume marijuana products. It involves inhaling an aerosol containing cannabis using a vaporizing device like an e-cigarette. The substance comes packed in a cartridge.

Possessing these products can trigger criminal accusations.

For instance, having an e-cigarette or vaping device in your car during a traffic stop could make police suspicious and investigate further. This is particularly true if a person smells like marijuana or is exhibiting certain behaviors suggesting drug impairment. Depending on what an officer concludes, he or she may arrest a driver for marijuana possession.

Vaping cartridges can also lead to criminal charges. As this Associated Press article discusses, law enforcement agents across the country have seized more than 510,000 vape cartridges containing marijuana in the last two years. Right here in the Midwest, there have been multiple busts involving illegal or black-market cartridges.

Defending against charges

With so many changes in drug laws and the way people use and access marijuana, it can be very difficult for a person to understand his or her rights. This is especially true when someone is young or flustered by an encounter with police.

Under such circumstances, people can make mistakes or say something they shouldn't.

However, it is important to know that all hope is not lost. Every person has the right to defend against drug charges. And because the marijuana landscape continues to change in this country, you may have more legal options than you think. 

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