Federal Marijuana Laws: An Overview

Throughout the U.S., there are a large assortment of cannabis laws at the state level. But what are the federal marijuana laws?

Below is a chart of federal marijuana laws provided by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML):

 

OffensePenaltyIncarceration  Max. Fine

Possession

Any amount (first offense)misdemeanor1 year$ 1,000
Second offense (any amount)misdemeanor15 days* – 2 years$ 2,500
Subsequent offensesmisdemeanor or felony90 days* – 3 years$ 5,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Sale

Less than 50 kgfelony5 years$ 250,000
50 – 99 kgfelony20 years$ 1,000,000
100 – 999 kgfelony5 – 40 years$ 500,000
1000 kg or morefelony10 years – life$ 1,000,000
To a minor or within 1000 ft of a school, or other specified areas carries a double penalty.
Gift of small amount — see Possession

Cultivation

Less than 50 plantsfelony5 years$ 250,000
50 – 99 plantsfelony20 years$ 1,000,000
100 – 999 plantsfelony5 – 40 years$ 500,000
1000 plants or morefelony10 years – life$ 1,000,000

Paraphernalia

Sale of paraphernaliafelony3 yearsN/A

 

Progress on Federal Marijuana Laws

Last month Congress voted to extend protections that prevent the Justice Department from interfering with state-level medical cannabis laws; the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment was included as part of a larger budget bill. However, the extension only goes until April. It’s anyone’s guess if it will be extended again at that point, when Trump will be in office.

Last week a group of U.S. senators – including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren – sent a letter to government officials urging them to allow cannabis banking.

Louisiana Marijuana Possession Laws

louisiana marijuana possession lawsLouisiana Marijuana Possession Laws:

 

14g or less (first offense)Charge: Not ClassifiedIncarceration: 15 daysFine: $300
More than 14g – less than 2.5lbs (first offense)Charge: Not ClassifiedIncarceration: 6 monthsFine: $500
2.5 – less than 60lbsCharge: Not ClassifiedIncarceration: 2* – 10 yearsFine: $30,000
60 – less than 2000lbsCharge: FelonyIncarceration: 5* – 30 yearsFine: $100,000
2000 – less than 10,000lbsCharge: FelonyIncarceration: 10* – 40 yearsFine: $400,000
10,000lbs or moreCharge: FelonyIncarceration: 25* – 40 yearsFine: $1,000,000

 

For further information on Louisiana marijuana laws – including penalties for distribution and cultivation – click here (take note that the distribution laws are incredibly harsh, including a 5 year mandatory minimum for the distribution of any amount). For recent updates to Louisiana’s marijuana possession laws and other Louisiana-related stories, click here.

Kentucky Marijuana Possession Laws

Kentucky Marijuana Possession LawsKentucky Marijuana Possession Laws:

 

Up to 8 ounces:

Penalty: Misdemeanor with up to 45 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of $250.

 

Anything above 8 ounces is considered for distribution purposes. Below is Kentucky’s distribution laws:

 

Less than 8 oz (first offense)MisdemeanorIncarceration: 1 yearFine: $500
Less than 8 oz (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 1 – 5 yearsFine: $10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (first offense)FelonyIncarceration: 1 – 5 yearsFine: $10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 5 – 10 yearsFine: $10,000
5 lbs or more (first offense)FelonyIncarceration: 5 – 10 yearsFine: $10,000
5 lbs or more (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 10 – 20 yearsFine: $10,000
To a minor (first offense)FelonyIncarceration: 5 – 10 yearsFine: $10,000
To a minor (subsequent offense)FelonyIncarceration: 10 – 20 yearsFine: $10,000
Within 1000 yards of a school or parkFelonyIncarceration: 1 – 5 yearsFine: $10,000

 

 

For further information on Kentucky marijuana laws – including penalties for cultivation – click here. For recent updates to Kentucky’s marijuana possession laws and other Kentucky-related stories, click here.

California Marijuana Possession Laws

California Marijuana Possession LawsCalifornia Marijuana Possession Laws:

 

28.5 grams or less (18 and older):

Penalty: Maximum fine of $100.

 

28.5 grams or less (under 18)

Penalty: Misdemeanor with up to 10 days in a detention center and a maximum $250 fine.

 

28.5 grams or less while on school grounds:

Penalty: Misdemeanor with up to 10 days in jail and maximum $500 fine.

 

Over 28.5 grams:

Penalty: Misdemeanor with up to 6 months in jail and a maximum $500 fine.

 

For further information on California marijuana laws – including penalties for distribution and cultivation – click here. For recent updates to California marijuana possession laws and other California-related stories, click here.