schedule your consultation865-281-1000

What Happens if I am Caught with Pot in a National Park?

 Posted on June 13,2024 in Drug Crimes

TN defense lawyerTennessee is home to numerous national historic sites and national parks. Exploring the parts of the Appalachian Trail that run through Tennessee or the Great Smoky Mountains can be a wonderful way to relax and connect with nature. Some people find that using cannabis enhances their experience in the great outdoors. However, anyone caught in possession of marijuana or any other federally illegal substance while in a national park can be arrested and charged with a federal crime. Being prosecuted at the federal level is an extremely serious matter. If you have been charged with cannabis possession while visiting a national park, monument, or historical site, you need an experienced Knoxville, TN federal crimes lawyer to advocate for you.

What if I Have a Medical Card in Tennessee? 

People who have a prescription can possess and use low-THC, high-CBD products in the state of Tennessee. However, as soon as you enter a national park or other national property, you are no longer within Tennessee’s jurisdiction. Instead, you have crossed into federal property, where federal laws apply. Federal laws do not permit anyone to have THC-containing cannabis products regardless of whether or not they have a medical license.

How Serious is a Federal Marijuana Charge? 

Possessing any amount of a THC-containing product is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you have a previous conviction and are re-arrested, you could face up to two years with a mandatory minimum of 15 days. Federal courts can be strict when it comes to enforcing marijuana laws. National parks are meant for family-friendly recreation, and national historic sites are viewed as places of honor. Courts may see using cannabis within these places as a display of disrespect.

Aside from the consequences a federal court can impose, you may also struggle with the collateral consequences of having a federal criminal record. Many cannabis users are young and still in college or just starting their careers. Getting convicted of a federal offense can close doors. Federal crimes are widely regarded as far more serious than state crimes, even if the federal and state laws are largely the same and the only difference is where you happened to be when you got caught.

Contact a Knox County, TN Federal Drug Crimes Lawyer 

Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney can help if you were arrested for bringing marijuana into a national park or other national site in Tennessee. Our experienced Knoxville, TN federal cannabis possession attorneys are comfortable in the courtroom and will take care to explain every aspect of your case. Contact us at 865-281-1000 for a complimentary consultation.

Share this post:
Back to Top