Currently, possession of marijuana is illegal in Tennessee, even in small amounts. It is important to speak with a Manchester criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with any drug-related offenses.
While a number of states have voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana as well as marijuana possession for personal use, Tennessee has not yet legalized it. This means that it is still considered a crime to use and/or possess marijuana within the borders of Tennessee. In 2016, Nashville and Memphis had passed legislation to decriminalize marijuana in small amounts. However, the state legislators reacted swiftly by repealing those legislations only a few months later by passing another bill.
The legal landscape surrounding marijuana is evolving and could be changing in the next year or two depending on proposed legislation. That is one of the reasons you need to speak with a Manchester marijuana possession attorney if you have questions about what is considered a crime related to marijuana.
Current Tennessee Marijuana Laws
Right now, marijuana remains listed as an illegal controlled substance in Tennessee, falling under Schedule VI controlled substances. Tennessee Code 39-17-418 regulates its possession and says that it is illegal for anyone to “knowingly possess or casually exchange a controlled substance.” You cannot distribute marijuana, either, as anything over one-half ounce, which is 14.175 grams, is considered illegal.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Tennessee
Penalties for marijuana possession can vary based on important variables, like how much you are in possession and with whom an exchange was made. In general, marijuana possession will result in a charge for a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty for this is a maximum of one year in jail. You could also be required to perform community services at a drug and alcohol treatment or rehabilitation center, or you may have to attend a drug offender school.
The charge could be far worse if there was an exchange of marijuana between an adult and someone who is defined as a minor. If you give a minor marijuana in Tennessee, the charge will become a Class E felony, which has a potential sentence of up to two years in prison, plus a $50,000 fine.
Those charged with selling, delivering, or manufacturing marijuana will be facing a felony.
Even if you are not selling or delivering, possession of over one-half ounce can be treated as though you are, based on the amount you have. For example, someone who has one-half ounce to 10 pounds would be facing a Class E felony, whereas someone with 300 pounds or more is facing a Class A felony that could result in a 60-year prison sentence and/or up to a $50,000 fine.
Contact a Manchester Marijuana Possession Lawyer
It is important to understand that even a misdemeanor charge can have long-term legal consequences. Do not underestimate the seriousness of a misdemeanor conviction, even if no jail time is handed down during sentencing. Punishments will vary based on the circumstances and the court that is handling the case. A skilled Manchester marijuana possession lawyer may be able to get a felony reduced to a misdemeanor in some cases.
If you or a loved one has been charged with marijuana possession in Tennessee, contact Burch & Lockhart at 931-723-7997 to schedule an initial consultation. Let one of our criminal defense attorneys build a strong defense and work hard in hopes of obtaining the best possible outcome.