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Marijuana crimes and their penalties

On January 1st of this New Year some states undertook changes to their marijuana laws. For example, California approved the legalization of limited quantities of marijuana for recreational use. Other states have already taken this step and have placed themselves in direct conflict with existing federal drug laws.

However, Tennessee has made no legislative moves to remove the criminal sanctions that may apply if a person is found to be in possession of or selling marijuana. Marijuana possession and the sale of marijuana are illegal in Tennessee. This post will discuss some of the penalties that may apply if a person is convicted of violating these prohibitions.

The state makes the exchange of small quantities of marijuana a class A misdemeanor and penalizes the offense with mandatory drug offender education and a fine. Subsequent convictions for this crime can exacerbate a person's sanctions, which could lead to heavier fines and the elevation of the matter to a felony charge. This could mean incarceration if an individual is convicted.

Exchanging or selling marijuana to a minor is a felony in and of itself, though, and growing marijuana is illegal in the state. Selling any quantity of marijuana in Tennessee is illegal and the penalties associated with this crime can include significant fines and incarceration. The sale of marijuana on school grounds can carry even stricter penalties.

A drug arrest based on the possession or sale of marijuana is a serious legal matter in Tennessee. Even though other states have relaxed their prohibitions on the substance, it is still illegal under federal law and the laws of this state. Assistance with a marijuana-based drug charge can be important to protecting a person's rights, which is why those accused of these crimes may want to consult with a criminal defense attorney.

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Law Office of Sam Byrd
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Chattanooga, TN 37415

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