The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

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Sturm College of Law


Marijuana, Legalization, Cannabis, Drug distribution


In 2002, 23-year-old Frank Ungaro made a serious mistake. He’d been smoking pot since he was a teenager in western New York state, but he’d since moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he’d graduated to selling marijuana. He was never a major dealer, he says. He sold marijuana on the side while working a pizza delivery job. “I wanted to make a little bit more money,” he says. “I wasn’t trying to get rich.” Whatever his motivations, his side business came to an end 12 years ago when he found himself pulled over by police in Boulder with 4 to 5 pounds of pot in his car.

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