Marijuana or Cannabis Possession: A Violation of Federal Laws

Jul 13, 2013 by

Being accused of a drug-related offense can be a very serious matter and, regardless of the amount, if caught and charged with illegal drug possession, the offense can be a violation of the federal law, which deserves costly fines and long jail terms. Drug-related crimes are not limited to possession of the illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or marijuana; these also include manufacturing, selling and distribution of the said drugs and drug paraphernalia. If an individual is charged or accused of these drug crimes, they may be able to seek the assistance from a legal representative to help defend their case.

From the various types of drugs banned in the US, marijuana is the one used most widely. According to the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter it is stated that marijuana started to be banned in the US in 1970 through a mandate from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), a federal law enacted on the same year.

The Controlled Substances Act has also classified marijuana, along with the other banned substances mescaline, lysergic acid diethylamide and heroin as a Schedule I drug, that is, drugs with no legal medical value (as contrary to the legal distribution and possession of medical marijuana in DC and in 18 other states, which include Washington, Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, New Mexico, New Jersey, Nevada, Montana, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Hawaii, Delaware, Connecticut, Colorado, California, Arizona and Alaska).

Also known under the names Mary Jane, grass, pot, ganja, weed, boom, skunk, kif, gangster, reefer or cannabis, this marijuana, a mixture of seeds, dried leaves, stem and shredded flowers of the plant cannabis sativa, actually contains about 400 chemicals, including THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the drug’s key psychoactive ingredient. Though some states have even decriminalized marijuana possession and use for recreational purposes, it should be noted that under the federal law these are still illegal and, as stipulated in the U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 2 – on Supremacy Clause – where federal and state laws conflict, the former shall take precedence over the latter.

Under the federal law, the minimum penalties to be imposed on whoever will be caught with any amount of the illegal drug are:

  • For first offenders: a charge of misdemeanor with 1 year imprisonment and a $ 1,000 fine
  • For second offenders: a charge of misdemeanor with 15 days- 2 years imprisonment and a $ 2,500 fine
  • For subsequent offenders: a charge of misdemeanor or felony with 90 days – 3 years imprisonment and a $ 5,000 fine

Sale and cultivation of marijuana, as well as distribution of drug paraphernalia, also have mandatory minimum sentences. If ever you or anyone you know is charged with any drug-related crime, hiring the best lawyers in town may help save you from a crime you would never want to be convicted with.

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