What is the Penalty for Possession of Marijuana in Maryland?

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What is the penalty for possession of marijuana in Maryland?

Maryland Criminal Law section 5-601 defines the crime of possession of marijuana.  The section of this statute that applies to marijuana states:

(a) In general. — Except as otherwise provided in this title, a person may not:

(1) possess or administer to another a controlled dangerous substance, unless obtained directly or by prescription or order from an authorized provider acting in the course of professional practice; or

(2) obtain or attempt to obtain a controlled dangerous substance, or procure or attempt to procure the administration of a controlled dangerous substance by:

(i) fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge;

(ii) the counterfeiting or alteration of a prescription or a written order;

(iii) the concealment of a material fact;

(iv) the use of a false name or address;

(v) falsely assuming the title of or representing to be a manufacturer, distributor, or authorized provider; or

(vi) making, issuing, or presenting a false or counterfeit prescription or written order.

(b) Information not privileged. — Information that is communicated to a physician in an effort to obtain a controlled dangerous substance in violation of this section is not a privileged communication.

If you are found guilty of possession of marijuana in Maryland then you could face serious consequences, including fines, court costs, jail time, and probation.  The Maryland Criminal laws state the penalty for possession of marijuana are:

(c) Penalty; mitigating factors. —

(2) A person whose violation of this section involves the use or possession of marijuana is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $ 1,000 or both.

Is there a medical defense to possession of marijuana in Maryland?

There is not an absolute medical defense to possession of marijuana of Maryland, however, there are mitigating factors the Court will consider.  The Maryland Criminal Law Statute provides:

(ii) 1. In a prosecution for the use or possession of marijuana, the defendant may introduce and the court shall consider as a mitigating factor any evidence of medical necessity.

2. Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this subsection, if the court finds that the person used or possessed marijuana because of medical necessity, on conviction of a violation of this section, the maximum penalty that the court may impose on the person is a fine not exceeding $ 100.

(iii) 1. In a prosecution for the use or possession of marijuana under this section, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant used or possessed marijuana because:

A. the defendant has a debilitating medical condition that has been diagnosed by a physician with whom the defendant has a bona fide physician-patient relationship;

B. the debilitating medical condition is severe and resistant to conventional medicine; and

C. marijuana is likely to provide the defendant with therapeutic or palliative relief from the debilitating medical condition.

2. The affirmative defense may not be used if the defendant was:

A. using marijuana in a public place; or

B. in possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana.

If you been charged with possession of marijuana in Maryland, contact the criminal defense attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr., at (410) 694-7291 for immediate help and to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.  Attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr., is a former Assistant State’s Attorney who has handled thousands of possession of marijuana cases for his clients.  In addition to the mitigating arguments that may be presented at trial, Mr. Rice will review every step of the arrest.  Ensuring that the State can meet their burden of proof.  Remember, it is the State of Maryland that must prove that you were in possession of marijuana.  If they violate any of the Constitutional protections afforded to you by the U.S. and Maryland Constitutions, they you may have a winnable defense.  Such arguments may include:

  • Bad traffic stop;
  • Bad search of your person;
  • Bad search of your vehicle;
  • Mishandling of evidence;
  • Lack of proof that it was marijuana that was seized;
  • Numerous other Constitutional arguments.

Contact the office at (410) 694-7291 as soon after your arrest to start the process of defending your rights. Even though possession of marijuana in Maryland is a misdemeanor, a conviction could still affect your future, including your ability to rent a home, buy a house, buy a car, a job, and your reputation in the community.

Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC

6914 Holabird Avenue, Suite A

Dundalk, Maryland 21222

(410) 694-7291


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