The U.S. Constitution clearly states that any law which isn’t created by the federal government can be legislated by the individual states. This article comes in direct conflict with the issue of medical marijuana. According to federal law, any possession or use of marijuana is a crime. However, states like Maryland have enacted medical marijuana laws which allow for possession and use if prescribed by a doctor.
Technically, federal DEA agents could arrest you for having an amount of medical marijuana and prosecute you in federal court. So far medical marijuana laws haven’t been challenged in the U.S. Supreme court, but clearly that day is coming.
Maryland marijuana laws stipulate that if you are suffering from chronic pain, nausea, glaucoma or movement disorders a certified doctor can issue you a medical marijuana prescription which will allow you to purchase, possess and use small amounts of marijuana. A doctor who is found to be making fraudulent prescriptions can face prosecution and forfeiture of their license.
Maryland Marijuana Possession Penalties
Because of the medical marijuana exemptions, Maryland’s possession laws are very simple. If you are in possession of any amount of pot you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to one year in jail with a possible $1,000. If that pot has been prescribed, you’ll need to prove that in court with your doctor’s prescription or medical marijuana I.D. card.
Maryland Marijuana Sale or Cultivation Penalties
In Maryland, if you are caught growing or selling any amount of marijuana less than 50 pounds will have you being charged with a felony criminal offense. If convicted of that crime, you could face up to five years in jail and a $15,000 fine. Being convicted of selling or growing 50 pounds or more of marijuana is going to land you in jail for a mandatory sentence of five years and/or a $100,000.
If you sell any amount of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school campus or even a school bus you could be sentenced to up to 20 years in jail and be slapped with a $20,000 fine.
Transporting marijuana into Maryland comes with another set of specific charges and penalties. If your caught bringing in any amount of between 5 to 45 kilograms of pot you’ll be charged with a felony and could go to jail for 10 years and pay a $10,000. Transports any amount over 45 kilograms across state lines carries with it a possible 25 year jail sentence and $50,000 fine.
Maryland Marijuana Paraphernalia Penalties
If you are caught in possession of, using, selling or even advertising any type of marijuana paraphernalia you will be charged with a misdemeanor. This means smoke shops are illegal. There is no jail sentence for this level of offense, but you will have to pay a $500 fine.
For a second offense in this same category you’ll be charged with a felony and could go to jail for two years and have to pay a $2,000 fine. Any more arrests in this category could mean doubling the penalties for each offense.