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What are the federal penalties for marijuana charges?

| Jan 12, 2017 | Drug Charges |

Even though many states are making allowances for marijuana on a state level, this is still a drug that is illegal on a federal level. This means that it is possible to face federal charges if you are caught with marijuana. If you are facing that situation, you are looking at time away from your family members. You might end up in prison or with considerable fines. This can affect your life, but it will also affect your family members. Think about these points if you are staring down federal drug charges.

Why is marijuana illegal?

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. It has been found not to have any acceptable medical uses, according to the federal government. Despite the current belief that there are acceptable uses for the drug, it will remain illegal on a federal level. States that allow the usage of marijuana are actually going against the federal law. This means that a person who is using marijuana in accordance with the state law can still face federal charges.

What are the penalties for federal marijuana trafficking convictions?

The penalty for federal marijuana trafficking convictions depends on the amount of marijuana, as well as if there were any injuries or deaths or not associated with the drugs. For less than 50 kilograms or 1 to 49 marijuana plants, you can face up to five years in prison on a first offense or up to 10 years on a second offense. For 50 to 99 kilograms, you face up to 20 years on a first offense or up to 30 years on a second. For 100 to 999 kilograms of marijuana, you face five to 40 years on a first offense or 10 to life on a second. For more than 1,000 kilograms, you face 10 to life on a first offense or 20 to life on a second offense.

Fines of $250,000 to $20 million are possible for individuals. These fines are higher if you aren’t classified as an individual.

People who are facing federal marijuana charges should realize that it doesn’t matter if the drug is legal in your state. Federal law trumps state law. If you are facing these types of charges, you should learn about your options for a defense. Federal courts are much different than state courts, so you should find representation familiar with handling cases at the federal level.