The 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....