In the classic film “Cool Hand Luke,” the prison warden bemoaned the fact that, “Some men you just can’t reach.” He was referring to Luke who never stopped breaking the rules no matter what he punishment was. Tennessee has some of the strictest marijuana laws on the books, but there are still some residents “you just can’t reach.”
Even with harsh penalties for growing, there is an estimated annual marijuana crop yield of around 700,000 pounds. If sold on the streets that could net dealers close to 3 billion dollars. The question then becomes is it worth the risk to break the law?
Tennessee Marijuana Possession Penalties
Tennessee marijuana laws have a zero tolerance when it comes to possession. If you are arrested with any amount of pot, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to one year in jail. A first time offenses means a mandatory $250 fine. A second offense equals a $500 fine and a third offense will cost you $1,000.
Tennessee Marijuana Sale Penalties
In Tennessee, being arrested for selling any amount of marijuana will have you being charged with a felony. The amount of jail time or penalties depends on the amount you were caught trying to sell. Being convicted of selling anywhere between a half an ounce to ten pounds of pot will have you facing between one to six years in year and paying a $5,000 fine.
If you are convicted of selling between 10 and 70 pounds of pot the possible jail time goes up to 2 to 12 years and the fine remains at $5,000. Selling amounts between 70 and 300 pounds can land you behind bars for up to 30 years with 8 years as the minimum sentence. At that level the fine goes up to $200,000.
For any sale of marijuana in an amount exceeding 300 pounds the jail sentence ranges between 15 to 60 years along with a $500,000 fine. If you are convicted of selling to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school whatever penalty you would receive for the amount is increased up to the next level.
Tennessee Marijuana Growing Penalties
As with selling pot, being arrested for growing marijuana will have you charged with a felony no matter what the amount. Having less than 10 plants could put you in jail for up to six years and paying $5,000 in fines. Between 10 and 19 plants comes with a possible jail sentence of 12 years and a $5,000 fine. A conviction involving 20 to 99 plants could mean 15 years in jail and paying $100,000 in fines. Growing between 100 and 499 plants has a potential jail sentence of 30 years along with a $200,000 fine. Any amount over 500 plants could have you serving up to 60 years in jail and paying $500,000 to the state.
Tennessee Marijuana Paraphernalia Penalties
Rolling papers wouldn’t be considered paraphernalia because many people roll their own cigarettes. However, if you are arrested with pot pipes, bongs or other smoking devices you will be charged with a misdemeanor and could end up serving one year in jail and paying a $2,500 fine. Being convicted of selling any of that paraphernalia could have spending up to 6 years in jail and paying a fine of $3,000.