In 2014 the fine Governor Martin O’Malley said enough was enough and signed cannabis reform legislation that decriminalized possession of 10 grams or less. The devil is in the details (see below) but its small fines for most situations. Also by statute, anyone who can prove medical necessity at trial faces a max fine of $100. Pretty smooth.
Details make the difference
For possession of 10 grams or less, it’s a small fine $100 first time busted, $250 second time busted, $500 third time busted) Big deal. I think the 4th time you get busted they should say “damn, this guy likes to smoke pot, let’s just let him do it!” For 10 grams to 50lbs you are looking at a misdemeanor, 1 year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
When looking at intent to sell Maryland puts the clamps down. If it’s less than 50lbs you are slapped with a felony, up to 5 years in jail and a max fine of $15,000. If you are busted trying to sell more than 50lbs you have a new felony on your record, 5 years in jail and a $15,000 max fine. This is interesting as it’s the same sentencing for less than and more than 50 lbs. Subsequent offenses carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years.
What is the MMS law in Maryland?
When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by the MMS, the judge MUST sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. No get of jail card here for all you Monopoly lovers. This isn’t a game and Maryland isn’t playing! On top of this a person serving a mandatory minimum sentence is not eligible for parole. Ouch. So to put this into perspective, even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence. And don’t forget, there is no chance of parole. You better get ready for 2 years in the big pen if you are caught twice with the intent to distribute.
If you are considered a ‘drug kingpin’ i.e. an organizer, supervisor/manager or financier and are caught dealing more than 50lbs you are looking a felony and 20-40 years and a $1,000,000 fine. Good luck paying that off! Maryland is NOT messing around here.
Always stay away of kids
As usual schools and minors are a no-no and Maryland is no different than any other state. If you get busted with the intent to distribute in a school vehicle, or with 1000ft of a school you now have yourself a felony, 2-5 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Intent to distribute to a minor gets even dicier as you will receive a felony, up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Remember, always the best bet to never involve a minor because the law heavily frowns upon it.
Trafficking in Maryland is also another heavily frowned upon activity. 5-45kgs is a felony, max jail time up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine. If size is your thing and you get busted with 45kgs it’s a felony, up to 25 years in prison and a fine of $50,000. Bring a firearm into the mix while trafficking and MMS kicks in at 5 years and if you are unlucky its max jail time of 20 years.
Cultivation, hash and concentrates are handled the same as possession for marijuana.
Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, max of 1 year in prison and $1,000 fine. Selling paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, 2 years in prison and a $2,000 fine. If you are caught selling paraphernalia to a minor who is at least 3 years younger than you are looking at a misdemeanor, up to 8 years in prison (ouch!) and a $15,000 fine. They also frown upon advertising the distribution of paraphernalia. If busted for advertising it’s a misdemeanor, up to 2 years in the slammer and a $2,000 fine.
Don’t wake up the dragon!
To sum it up, Maryland is a very cool spot if you play by their rules and have or smoke small amounts. If you get crazy and go over the limit you’re going to get the fire of a dragon breathing down your back.