Laws and penalties for marijuana possession in Maryland

The legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic across the country for the last several years. While there are currently only two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use (Washington and Colorado), other states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of the drug. Maryland is one of those states.

In Maryland, the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana is not a criminal offense. You cannot be arrested, but you can be fined for it. The first time a person is caught, the fine is $100. The second time, it is $250. There are criminal penalties, though, for possessing over 10 grams of marijuana.

For those charged with possessing more than 10 grams up to 50 pounds of marijuana without the intent to distribute the drug, the penalty is a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year. This is a misdemeanor.

The really stiff penalties come for those who are convicted of possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute. A conviction of possession with the intent to distribute less than 50 pounds carries a possible fine of up to $15,000 and a prison term of up to 5 years. With a conviction of possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 pounds, the penalty is to not less than five years in prison.

There are more penalties if a person is arrested within 1,000 feet of a school, for those with previous convictions for possession with intent to distribute, for being a “drug kingpin,” and for using a minor to distribute, deliver or manufacture marijuana.

Because of the complexities that marijuana possession cases can present, those charged with such crimes can benefit from the advice of an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney.

Source: Norml.org, “Maryland Laws & Penalties” Nov. 25, 2014