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Marijuana laws and penalties in Maryland

Are you wondering what the major marijuana penalties look like in Maryland? Below is a quick rundown of some of the main key points you should be aware of.

-- Possession of under 10 grams is not a criminal offense, but merely a civil offense. You could be fined $100, but you're not going to jail.

-- For any amount between 10 grams and under 50 pounds, it's simply a misdemeanor. That could lead to a jail term of one year and/or a fine of $1,000.

-- When you get over 50 pounds, that's when the sentencing ramps up significantly. It becomes a felony charge. You could face five years in jail, and the maximum fine is $100,000.

-- The above are for possession charges. If you are also said to have an intent to distribute the marijuana, that changes things drastically. Having this intent makes it a felony in all cases, even when you have under 50 pounds.

-- The minimum jail term for a felony charge of intent to distribute is five years. The maximum is 40 years, and this can be given out if you have over 50 pounds.

-- If a minor is involved, the sentencing can also be pretty harsh. The jail term is 20 years and the fine is $20,000.

-- Possessing paraphernalia for using marijuana is a civil infraction. Curiously, though, there is no fine. If you're attempting to sell it, though, you could be fined $500 for a first offense and $2,000 for a second.

These are not all of the marijuana laws in Maryland, but they give you a good idea of how the case will begin. Be sure you know what defense options you have. A lawyer experienced in drug crime defense can help.

Source: Norml, "Maryland Laws & Penalties," accessed June 09, 2016

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