Feds In California Ignore State Legalization But Still Prosecute Using State Courts

state legalization california national parks federal government

In California and other legal states, you can still be busted for cannabis in federally-controlled areas like national parks under federal prohibition, but they still rely on state laws and courts to make those prosecutions.


This one is kind of hard to get your head around.

As I mentioned recently, just because a state has legalized marijuana does not mean it is legal everywhere in that state. Federally-controlled properties may still treat cannabis as illegal according to national law. That means that in post offices, national parks and other areas under US government control you can still be charged for the most minor of cannabis-related crimes – like possession.

National Park officials have warned visitors to California locations that cannabis use is still illegal in their jurisdiction.

“Marijuana – recreational, medical or otherwise – remains prohibited on federal public lands and property, regardless of state laws,” said Andrew Munoz, Pacific West spokesman for the National Park Service. “So there is no change: We will continue to enforce marijuana prohibition as before.”

And this is where it gets strange. According to the same article the above quote was sourced from

Fines for marijuana citations in California’s national parks depend on district courts but often end up being $200 or so. Arrests are rare, unless the case involves large amounts of concentrated cannabis, probation violations or another crime, like gun possession or drunken driving.

This means that local courts are ignoring local laws in order to enforce federally mandated protocol that contradict the laws which they operate under. How can state courts enforce prohibition policies that contradict their own laws on the behalf of federal enforcement? This would put the states courts in the position of breaking their own laws while prosecuting laws that they do not even have.

How can that even be legal? I mean, I am certain there is a technical answer for that question, but it would still have to defy common sense. And right there is the very crux of prohibition – reason is illegal everywhere.

Leave a Reply

Comments Protected by WP-SpamShield Spam Blocker