Know Your Marijuana Laws
|Any amount (first offense)||misdemeanor||1 year||$1,000|
|Any amount (second offense)||misdemeanor||15 days MMS*||$2,500|
|Any amount (subsequent offense)||misdemeanor or felony||90 days MMS* – 3 years||$5,000|
|*Mandatory minimum sentence.|
|Sale or Cultivation|
|Less than 50 kg||felony||5 years||$250,000|
|50 to 100 kg||felony||
|100 to 1,000 kg||felony||5 – 40 years||$2,000,000|
|1000 kg or more||felony||10 years – life||$4,000,000|
|To a minor||felony||double penalty||double penalty|
|Within 1,000 feet of a school, or other specified areas||felony||double penalty||double penalty|
|Gift of small amount||
|Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc…)|
|Paraphernalia sale||felony||3 years||none|
|Possession of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction. For a second conviction, the penalties increase to a 15-day mandatory minimum sentence with a maximum of two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent convictions carry a 90-day mandatory minimum sentence and a maximum of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Distribution of a small amount of marijuana, for no remuneration, is treated as possession. Manufacture or distribution of less than 50 kilograms of marijuana is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. For 50 kilograms or more the penalty increases to a possible 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. Manufacture or distribution of 100 kilograms or more carries a penalty of 5 – 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000. For 1000 kilograms or more, the penalty increases to 10 years – life in prison and a fine of up to $4,000,000.
Distribution of greater than 5 grams of marijuana to a minor under the age of 21 doubles the possible penalties. Distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, public housing or within 100 feet of a youth center, public pool or video arcade also doubles the possible penalties.
The sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to three years in prison.
The sentence of death can be carried out on a defendant who has been found guilty of manufacturing, importing or distributing a controlled substance if the act was committed as part of a continuing criminal enterprise – but only if the defendant is (1) the principal administrator, organizer, or leader of the enterprise or is one of several such principal administrators, organizers, or leaders, and (2) the quantity of the controlled substance is 60,000 kilograms or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of marijuana, or 60,000 or more marijuana plants, or the if the enterprise received more than $20 million in gross receipts during any 12-month period of its existence.
Mandatory minimum sentence: When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.