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Marijuana is a common drug that people often use to de-stress, have fun, or for medical purposes. Due to the laws surrounding marijuana, it can be considered a felony to own this drug and can result in large fines and possible jail time depending on the state and how much of the drug you possessed. A felony can negatively affect your personal record and be detrimental to your personal life and work life. This list explains the minimum sentencing for marijuana possession from the smallest amount of the drug to the largest possible size and each state's rules depending on the quantity of the drug.
A gram of marijuana is the smallest amount you can purchase. It is approximately equal to the size of a bottle cap. Even though a gram is a small amount of this drug some states such as Arizona, Alabama, and Oklahoma will punish people for any amount of marijuana they own. These states are attempting to stop people from using marijuana by cracking down on the law.
Based on the marijuana possession laws, the government views this drug as a "Schedule 1" controlled substance. Therefore, in Arizona, if you are seen with any amount of marijuana you will automatically face felony charges. The severity of punishment for drug possession is based on how much marijuana you have. For a first time offense of having any amount less than two pounds of marijuana, you will be convicted of a Class 6 felony and will be forced to spend between four months to two years in jail. In addition, you will be required to pay between $750 to $150,000. In Arizona, I don't recommend owning marijuana because you could end up facing harsh punishments.
In Alabama, if you own any amount of marijuana and are using it for something besides personal use or for personal use after already being punished for owning this drug then you will be convicted of a Class C felony and will face a minimum sentencing for marijuana possession. The consequences are between one to ten years in prison and a mandatory fine of $15,000. If you are using marijuana only for yourself without any prior convictions, then you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and will face nothing greater than one year in jail as well as a mandatory fine of up to $6,000.
Oklahoma is very strict when it comes to minimum sentencing for marijuana possession. The state tries to diminish people against drugs by punishing them for using any amount of marijuana on their first offense. The first time you're caught with this drug you will face a year in jail, a fine of $1,000, and will be guilty of committing a misdemeanor.
There have been some strange instances involving marijuana. In 2014, a 19-year-old man from Texas, Jacob Lavoro, was charged with a felony for making brownies with 2.5 grams of marijuana and 145 grams of hash oil and then selling them for $25. He made one and a half pounds of brownies with marijuana in them and had $1,675 in his apartment. According to the law, he was ordered to spend between five years to his entire life in prison. However, he ended up being released from jail due to a $30,000 surety bond. In terms of crimes, this is a relatively harmless crime, however, he received strict punishment due to the large amount of marijuana he possessed and the act of selling the drug.
Half an Ounce
Half an ounce of marijuana is 14 grams of the drug. This size is equivalent to the length of a one dollar bill. In Florida, if you have 20 grams or more of marijuana, which is a little more than half an ounce of the drug, you will be convicted of a felony and will be required to spend five years in prison and pay a mandatory maximum fine of $5,000.
An ounce of marijuana is 28 grams. In New Jersey, by law, you are guilty of a crime on your first offense if you have more than 50 grams of marijuana, which is slightly less than two ounces. Based on facts about marijuana, the minimum sentencing for marijuana possession is a year and a half in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000.
In Pennsylvania, if you have 30 or more grams of marijuana you will be charged with a misdemeanor and will be forced to face a maximum of one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.
In Mississippi, if you have between 30 to 250 grams of marijuana you will be guilty of a felony. The minimum sentencing for marijuana possession is between one to three years in prison and a mandatory fine of $1,000.
Delaware is not strict when it comes to minimum sentencing for marijuana possession. By law, in order to be convicted of a felony for doing drugs, you need a minimum of 175 grams of marijuana, which is slightly more than six ounces of marijuana in your possession for a first-time offense. If you are found guilty for having this amount of marijuana, you could face a mandatory sentencing of three years in jail.
In New York, the laws on marijuana are relatively lenient. You need to have between 25 grams to two ounces of marijuana to be convicted of a misdemeanor. If you possess between 25 grams to two ounces, you will have to spend three months in prison and pay a fine of $500. You will be convicted of a felony if you own between eight ounces to one pound of marijuana. The charges associated include four years in jail as well as a mandatory maximum fine of $5,000.
A pound of marijuana is equal to 16 ounces and 448 grams. In Hawaii, you need a minimum of one lb. or more of marijuana to receive a felony charge. The minimum sentencing for marijuana possession is five years in jail and a mandatory maximum fine of $10,000. This state makes it very convenient for people who enjoy using marijuana.
A kilogram of marijuana is 1,000 grams of the drug. Louisiana is extremely lenient in terms of minimum sentencing for marijuana possession. They passed a marijuana reform in order to make it easier for people who wish to use marijuana for medical reasons. For drug possession to be a felony by law you need at least 60 lbs. of marijuana, which is 960 ounces of the drug. If you are found guilty of owning 60 or more pounds of this drug you will have a mandatory sentencing with the minimum years in prison starting at five years and ranging up to 30 years based on how much marijuana you have on yourself.