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Can Marijuana Possession or Distribution Result in Federal Drug Charges?

Posted on in Federal Crimes

texas criminal defense lawyerThe laws surrounding marijuana in the United States have been in flux over the past decade. Multiple states have made marijuana legal for both medical and recreational use. Others have decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug, meaning that people will usually face civil infractions rather than criminal penalties. However, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I controlled substance by the federal government, and there are some situations where a person may be charged with federal crimes if they are accused of possessing, distributing, selling, or transporting this drug.

Federal Charges Related to Marijuana

Technically, possession of marijuana is a federal offense. “Simple” possession involves a person knowingly and intentionally carrying a drug on their person, transporting it in their vehicle, or storing it in their place of residence unless they have a valid prescription for the substance from a medical provider. A conviction for simple possession can result in a sentence of up to one year in a federal prison, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000.

However, most of the time, federal officials do not prosecute cases involving simple possession of marijuana. Federal authorities are more focused on large-scale drug trafficking, especially in situations where marijuana is transported and distributed in multiple states or smuggled into the U.S. from another country. These cases typically involve large amounts of marijuana, as well as a conspiracy by multiple people to manufacture, package, transport, and sell the drug to others.

The consequences of a federal drug trafficking conviction will depend on the amount of drugs in a person’s possession. In cases involving at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana or 1,000 marijuana plants, a conviction for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute will result in a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million for an individual or $50 million in cases involving multiple offenders. In cases involving 100 kilograms or more of marijuana or 100 marijuana plants, a conviction will result in a sentence of between five and 40 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $5 million for an individual or $25 million in cases involving multiple offenders. Drug trafficking cases involving less than 50 kilograms of marijuana may result in a prison sentence of up to five years, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 for an individual or $1 million in cases involving multiple offenders.

Contact a Collin County Federal Drug Crime Attorney

Even though the use of marijuana has become more acceptable, a person may still face criminal charges for the possession or distribution of this drug. Because federal cases are so serious, those who have been charged with drug trafficking or other related crimes will need representation from an attorney who has experience defending clients in federal courts. To get legal help from the Dallas drug crime defense lawyers at The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., call our office at 214-303-9600 and set up a free consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/841

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/844

https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/863.htm


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