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New Legislation Proposed for Medical and Recreational Cannabis in Tennessee

 Posted on February 07, 2022 in Drug Crimes

Knoxville marijuana possession lawyerOn January 25, 2022, the “Free All Cannabis for Tennesseans Act” was introduced and assigned to the Criminal Justice Subcommittee for consideration. This could be a game changer for legal medical and recreational cannabis. With 37 states across the country currently having some form of medical cannabis program, Tennessee can soon become number 38. The bill would overhaul current laws making both medical and recreational marijuana legal. Local governments would not be able to override proposed laws, but they could vote to ban the sale within their jurisdictions by a two-thirds vote. Several benefits for consumers could be available in the near future, but familiarizing yourself with all the rules and regulations is key. Until that time, it is important to remember that possession of cannabis is still illegal.

What Happens if You Are Caught With Cannabis in Your Possession?

A conviction on a first offense for marijuana possession under Tennessee law incurs fines of $250.00 for a half-ounce of marijuana or less. Possession will have mandatory fines and up to one year in jail if convicted. Maximum fines can reach up to $2,500. Penalties for possession with intent to distribute starts at $5,000 and will increase with the amount of marijuana found on hand. This is considered a serious offense and is handled as a Class E misdemeanor. Cultivation of 10 plants or less can land someone in prison for up to six years. Larger quantities can increase the time up to 60 years.

Over the last few years, many states around the country have legalized or decriminalized cannabis, making the drug easier to obtain than perhaps ever before. However, you should definitely think twice about bringing marijuana purchased legally in other states into the state of Tennessee, as the penalties for possession can be serious.

Keeping Up With Changing Times

The potential penalties for marijuana possession can be severe, but the discussion does bring up some bigger picture concerns. At present, many jurisdictions are hesitant to prosecute low-level marijuana crimes because of the possibility of an overhaul of cannabis-related laws on the federal level. In practice, this means that you might get lucky if you are caught with a small amount of marijuana on your person. However, if you are caught with an amount that indicates that you might be selling or distributing, the police and prosecutors are less likely to be lenient. For this reason, it is best to meet with a qualified drug crimes defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.

Contact a Knox County Marijuana Possession Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing charges related to the possession of cannabis is Tennessee, contact a Knoxville criminal defense attorney to get the help you need. Call 865-281-1000 for a free consultation with a responsive and reliable lawyer who is ready to serve you. 



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