Defending You From Marijuana Charges
It’s easy to run afoul of marijuana laws. You may think that possession of marijuana is legal, or at least no longer a criminal offense, but that is not the case. While possession of a small amount of marijuana is not a criminal offense in some states, you can still be charged with a crime based on the quantity of the drug you possess and where you possess it.
If you have landed on the wrong side of our complicated patchwork of marijuana laws in Maryland or Washington, D.C., contact Silver Spring attorney James N. Papirmeister. His goal is to keep a drug charge from having a major effect on your life. For a free initial consultation about your case, call 301-589-2100.
A Complicated Patchwork Of Marijuana Laws
Marijuana is not legal anywhere in the world, for medical or any other type of use. In Washington, D.C., adults over the age of 21 can possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana in their private residence. In Maryland, possession of less than 10 grams is a civil rather than a criminal violation. In both Washington, D.C., and Maryland, medical marijuana is legal in certain amounts for some medical conditions with a prescription.
However, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, though the U.S. attorney general has made a policy decision not to enforce or prosecute if the possession is legal under state law. But that still leaves many cases in which you can face criminal charges. These cases include those involving:
- Transportation of marijuana from a state where it is legal to a state where it is not
- Possession of more than the legal quantity of marijuana
- Possession with intent to sell (drug trafficking)
What Are The Consequences Of A Civil Violation?
While possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana in Maryland is a civil rather than a criminal offense, it can still have consequences on your life, such as:
- You could lose eligibility for federal student loans.
- If you are asked on a job application if you have been charged with possession of any drug or controlled substance, even if civil, you will have to answer yes. As a result, you could lose employment opportunities.
- You are subject to search and seizure laws if you are stopped by police. The officers can handcuff you, order you out of your vehicle and search for drugs. If they find more than the legal quantity, you could be charged with a crime.