Maryland Marijuana Possession Attorney
Maryland has legalized the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. However, illegal use and possession of the drug is a punishable offense. Criminal possession of marijuana, like other drug crimes, carries hefty penalties.
The Maryland marijuana laws can be complicated, so if you’re facing a marijuana possession charge, consider hiring an attorney.
Attorney Paolo Gnocchi of Scrofano Law PC can help you with your marijuana possession case by providing you with the excellent legal representation you deserve.
Marijuana Possession Laws In Maryland
Maryland has a new law that decriminalizes the possession and sale of marijuana for personal use. The law is effective from July 1, 2023, for adults 21 and older.
The law permits adults to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower or 12 grams of cannabis concentrate for personal use. The law also permits you to grow at most two cannabis plants for personal use at home.
Violations of this law can result in civil and criminal penalties. Possessing more than 1.5 ounces of marijuana is a civil offense. The possession of amounts over 2.5 ounces is a criminal offense punishable by jail time and fines. Furthermore, possessing over 50 pounds of cannabis is a felony punishable by prison and fines.
Under Code Section 5-601, possession of at least 10 grams and less than 50 lbs of marijuana has penalties of a prison sentence and fines.
Civil Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Maryland
Civil possession is possessing small amounts of marijuana. Civil possession includes the following:
- Possession of marijuana that exceeds 1.5 ounces but less than 2.5 ounces for personal use
- Possession of concentrated marijuana that exceeds 12 grams but not exceeding 20 grams
- Possession of some marijuana products containing Delta–9–THC exceeding 750 milligrams
Maryland deems the violation a civil offense, not a criminal one. Therefore, persons violating the law are not subject to marijuana criminal charges.
Civil penalties are as follows:
- A first-offense possession of marijuana is a $100 fine.
- A second offense is a fine of up to $250
- A third or subsequent offense is up to $500.
- The civil fine for using cannabis in a public place of up to $500.
- Drug treatment after a third or subsequent violation
In cases where marijuana is in excess of civil limits, police issue citations. Since these citations do not constitute crimes, possession of the amounts for personal or civil use does not result in arrest, jail time, or a criminal record.
Criminal Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Maryland
Currently, marijuana possession ranging from 2.5 ounces to about 50 pounds is a misdemeanor in Maryland. The penalties are fines not exceeding $1000 and up to one-year imprisonment.
Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute has the following penalties:
- Cannabis possession under 50 pounds is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines not exceeding $15,000.
- Having more than 50 pounds is punishable by a minimum five-year prison sentence and a fine not exceeding $100,000.
- Possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute within 1,000 ft of property owned by a school or in a school vehicle is a felony. In the case of a first violation, you can be jailed for up to 20 years and fined up to $20,000. A subsequent violation is punishable by imprisonment for 5 to 40 years without the possibility of parole and a maximum fine of $1,000,000.
To learn more about the possible penalties you might face, get in touch with a drug crime lawyer who can assess your case.
Penalties for Trafficking Marijuana in Maryland
Trafficking of less than 45kgs but more than 5kgs of marijuana is punishable by a 10-year maximum prison sentence and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Marijuana brought into Maryland in excess of 45 kg constitutes a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $50,000.
The following punishments apply if the person trafficking marijuana has a firearm when they are arrested:
- First violation, with imprisonment of between 5 and 20 years.
- A subsequent violation carries a minimum of ten years and a maximum of twenty years in prison.
How Can a Maryland Marijuana Possession Attorney Help You?
Having an illegal drug possession conviction on your record can result in a permanent criminal record and affect your future opportunities. With a Maryland drug lawyer fighting for your rights properly, you will have every chance to avoid a permanent criminal record.
An experienced Maryland drug lawyer can help you understand your rights and explore your options for a favorable outcome. A lawyer can also assist you in navigating the court system and defending you fiercely. They can also assist you in negotiating with the prosecution to minimize the penalties you may face.
Additionally, your attorney will ensure that law enforcement and the prosecution do not violate your rights. If law enforcement has illegally searched and seized your property or vehicle, your attorney can ensure the evidence of illegal substances found is not admissible at trial.
Contact attorney Paolo Gnocchi of Scrofano Law for legal help. She can assist you with your drug charge so that you are properly represented. Schedule a consultation today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Have My Past Marijuana Possession Charges in Maryland Expunged?
The new Maryland marijuana possession law allows convicts to request an expungement. However, it can only happen after completing their sentence. The law also restrains the Judiciary Case Search database from exhibiting those records.
Does Maryland Classify Marijuana as CDS?
Maryland classifies drugs like heroin, marijuana, and cocaine as CDS. It also classifies the compounds used to manufacture and distribute those drugs.
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