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Tennessee Cocaine Laws

While the Memphis of today will never be confused with the Miami of the ‘70s and ‘80s, much of Tennessee is designated in the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area by the Department of Justice. Tennessee authorities crack down heavily on both sale and possession of cocaine in an effort to curb the increased violence surrounding cocaine manufacturing, trafficking, and use. This is a brief summary of cocaine laws in Tennessee.

State Cocaine Laws

Every state has cocaine laws that criminalize the possession, sale, or trafficking of cocaine. As a felony crime in Tennessee, the sale of cocaine could mean up to 60 years in prison and a $500,000 fine just about every state. Even simple possession of any amount of the drug can land you in jail.

Cocaine Statutes in Tennessee

Tennessee's cocaine laws are highlighted in the chart below.

Code Section

39-17-401, et seq.

Possession

Possession or casual exchange: Class A misdemeanor unless adult to minor and adult is 2 yrs. the minor's senior, then felony; Subsequent offense: if 2 or more prior convictions: Class E felony; Less than .5 grams is a class C felony, may be fined up to $100,000.; Class B .5 grams or less and at commission of crime, death occurred, defendant concealed a deadly weapon.

Sale

Less than .5 g.: Class C felony and up to 100,000; Over .5 g.: Class B felony and up to $100,000; Over 26 g.: Class B felony and up to $200,000; Over 300 g.: Class A felony and up to $500,000; Sale to minor under 18 or in drug-free school zone: one class higher than amount required; Minimum penalty amounts: 1st drug felony: $2000; 2nd: $2500; 3rd: $3000

Trafficking

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In addition to state cocaine laws, federal narcotics laws prohibit everything from manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distribution down to simple cocaine possession. And penalties for cocaine possession or sale can be severe. That said, a few jurisdictions have recently created specialized “drug courts” that may allow first or second-time defendants to avoid lengthy jail sentences by committing to drug treatment programs.

Tennessee Cocaine Laws: Related Resources

State drug laws generally reflect local social attitudes regarding drugs, and are therefore subject to change. If you think you or someone you know has a drug or substance abuse problem, Tennessee's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has resources that can help. For additional information and resources on this topic, you can visit FindLaw's Drug Charges section. You can also contact a Tennessee drug crime attorney if you would like legal assistance regarding a drug matter.

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