Over the last few years, various law professionals have been working together to improve the sentencing for marijuana charges. Thankfully, their efforts are resulting in regulations that are not so harsh for first-time and minor offenders.
However, those individuals who are guilty of possessing marijuana will still have to face those charges. The penalty depends upon the type of charge that parties face.
The amount of marijuana that a person possesses is essential in determining the class of the offense. In small amounts, authorities typically deem it personal use, whereas larger amounts may be for distribution. Those who are cultivating or growing the substance fall into a completely different category and face the strict penalties. For more details, it may be beneficial to review Missouri’s laws for controlled substances.
People who possess up to 10 grams of marijuana or own some type of marijuana paraphernalia face a class D misdemeanor. This type of charge does not come with jail time; however, guilty parties may face fines up to $500. When someone has a previous class D misdemeanor and has been repeatedly found with less than 10 grams of marijuana, the courts may charge him or her with a class A misdemeanor. This can lead to a year in jail and fines up to $2,000. Those who possess between 10 and 35 grams of marijuana may face a class A misdemeanor as well.
Possessing more than 35 grams of marijuana, cultivating the substance or selling it all lead to felony charges. The type of charge and penalty depends upon the amount of marijuana and additional factors. For example, those caught selling in a school zone to a minor would face harsh penalties. Class D felonies fall on the lower end of the spectrum, which may include jail time sentences up to 7 years, while class B felonies may lead to 15 years in jail.