How Maryland Marijuana Laws Can Impact You
Understanding even a few details regarding Maryland marijuana laws will give you a greater understanding of the potential marijuana charges and their resulting penalties. If you have been charged with a drug crime involving marijuana, your best bet is to contact an attorney who is familiar with marijuana laws in Maryland to represent you.
Houlon Berman has 40 years of experience representing Marylanders from Rockville, Greenbelt, Potomac, Upper Marlboro, and the surrounding areas. Their experience and focus on personal service can provide you with the best representation possible.
Let our experienced lawyers walk you through marijuana charges, and give you the legal advice you need today.
Marijuana Charges and Punishments
There are two important factors to consider when looking into the legal consequences of breaking Maryland’s marijuana laws; amount and intent. These will be the major factors in deciding whether your marijuana charges are misdemeanor or felony offenses and can mean the difference of several decades in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
Personal Marijuana Use
Possession of marijuana up to the amount of 50 lbs. is a misdemeanor offense in Maryland, punishable with a maximum of 1 year in prison and a fine of $1,000. Anything less than 10 grams has a maximum fine of $500 and 90 days in jail.
While those punishments may seem light, there is always room for complications. The difficulty would be in proving that you were in possession of 45 pounds of marijuana which was only intended for personal use. Such a large quantity of marijuana will naturally incite suspicion and law enforcement may assume you are a distributor.
Intent to Distribute
If it is proven that you intended to distribute marijuana to others, consequences drastically increase. Again, the level of severity is tied to the amount of marijuana recovered.
Less than 50 lbs: Felony offense punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000
More than 50 lbs: Felony offense punishable with a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000
Within 1,000 feet of a school (any amount): A felony offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison and $20,000 maximum fine.
Mandatory Minimum Marijuana Charges
Maryland marijuana laws include a number of “mandatory minimum” sentences. What this means is that these charges are non-negotiable and assessed in addition to the base sentence you received.
Mandatory Minimum Sentence
|Repeat offenders convicted of possession to distribute 2 or more times||Additional 2 years|
|Repeat offender previously convicted of intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school 2 or more times||Additional 5 years and maximum fine increased to $40,000|
|Any offender with more than 50 lbs.||Additional 5 years|
|Any “drug kingpin” dealing more than 50 lbs.||Additional 20 years|
|Any drug trafficking offender in possession of a firearm||Additional 10 years|
Medical Marijuana Use
Maryland does recognize a medical marijuana defense to possession charges. This law generally requires that a person have an established relationship with a physician for a serious or debilitating condition that is being treated by marijuana. The law is very specific in its requirements so a consultation with an experienced lawyer is imperative to determine whether you can pursue a medical marijuana defense or use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Contact Houlon Berman
What might seem like simple marijuana charges can quickly become life altering consequences. Don’t wait to get legal assistance for your marijuana charges.
The Houlon Berman team is well acquainted with Maryland marijuana laws and can provide the representation that you deserve. Get in touch with our lawyers today to begin preparing a winning defense.
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