Under Maryland law, a person in possession of marijuana is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Pursuant to Chapter 158 of 2014, however, possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana is a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100 for a first offense and $250 for a second offense.
Pursuant to Chapter 158 of 2014, however, possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana is a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100 for a first offense and $250 for a second offense. The maximum fine for a third or subsequent offense is $500.
If a person commits a third or subsequent violation or is younger than age 21, the court must summon the person for trial upon issuance of a citation.
The court must order a person to attend a drug education program approved by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and refer the person to an assessment for a substance abuse disorder if the person:
- commits a third or subsequent violation; or
- commits a violation while younger than age 21.
After the assessment, the court must refer the person to substance abuse treatment, if necessary. A citation for a violation for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana and the related public court record are not subject to public inspection and may not be included on the public website maintained by the Maryland Judiciary.
A citation for a violation for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, and the related public court record, are not subject to public inspection and may not be included on the public website maintained by the Maryland Judiciary. Chapter 4 of 2016 repealed the criminal prohibition on the use or possession of marijuana paraphernalia and eliminated the associated penalties.
Existing criminal penalties in the State of Maryland continue to apply to the use or possession of 10 grams or more of marijuana.
Defenses to Marijuana Crimes for a Debilitating Medical Condition
An affirmative defense is available to defendants for use or possession of marijuana due to a debilitating medical condition.
Pursuant to Chapters 61 and 62 of 2013, as of June 1, 2013, an affirmative defense is available to defendants for the possession of marijuana if the defendant possessed marijuana because the defendant was a caregiver and the marijuana was intended for medical use by an individual with a debilitating medical condition.
In addition, Pursuant to Chapter 351 of 2015, as of October 1, 2015, if a court finds that the defendant used or possessed marijuana because of medical necessity, the court must dismiss the charge.
Smoking Marijuana in a Public Place
Chapter 4 of 2016, repealed the criminal prohibition on the use or possession of marijuana paraphernalia and eliminated the associated penalties. However, the law also established that the use or possession of marijuana involving smoking marijuana in a public place is a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Under Title 10 of the Criminal Law Article, “public place” means a place to which the public or a portion of the public has access and a right to resort for business, dwelling, entertainment, or another lawful purpose.
The definition of “public place” includes
- restaurants, shops, and taverns;
- public buildings, parking lots, streets, and parks; common areas of multi-dwelling units;
- hotels and motels;
- amusement parks, theaters, swimming pools, and sports arenas;
- educational institutions;
- places of public worship;
- bus terminals and railway stations; and
- other grounds and structures that are part of a public place.
“Public conveyance” means a conveyance to which the public or a portion of the public has access to and a right to use for transportation, and includes an airplane, vessel, bus, railway car, school vehicle, and subway car.
Attorney for Marijuana Crimes in Baltimore, Maryland
James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates serves clients facing legal trouble in Annapolis, Arbutus, Catonsville, and Baltimore, Maryland. Lawyers here have more than two decades of experience as trial lawyers defending people against various charges and accusations.
The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and operate four offices for your convenience, including two offices in Arbutus and Catonsville, Maryland. If you have been arrested for any drug crime including crimes related to the distribution of marijuana in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County or Harford, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates also represent clients charged with the sale or possession of synthetic forms of marijuana and marijuana concentrates such as wax or resin in Baltimore, MD.
Call 443-709-9999 to speak with an experienced drug crime attorney in Baltimore, Maryland.