Marijuana laws are changing rapidly, with many states now allowing for the use of the herb for medical uses. Virginia marijuana laws do not recognize medical marijuana, while simple possession of less than two ounces of cannabis can result in up to 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. Meanwhile, the penalty for the sale of five pounds (or more) is five to 30 years in state prison.
Learn more about Virginia's marijuana laws in the following chart and the information that follows. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section for related content.
|Code Section||54.1-3445, 18.2-247|
|Possession||Misdemeanor, jail up to 30 days and/or $500; Subsequent offense: Class 1 misdemeanor|
|Sale||Up to .5 oz.: Class 1 misdemeanor; .5 oz.-5 lbs.: Class 5 felony; Over 5 lbs.: 5-30 yrs.; Proof that person gave drug only as an accommodation not for remuneration or to induce him to become addicted shall be guilty of Class 1 misdemeanor; Sale to minor or within 1000 ft. of school: stricter penalties|
Federal Marijuana Laws
Even though some states have legalized recreational and medical use of marijuana, it is still illegal under federal laws. Federal laws prohibit possession of any amount of marijuana. A first conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A second possession offense carries a minimum 15 day incarceration, with a maximum of two years in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine. A third and subsequent offense has a minimum jail time of 90 days with a maximum of three years and $5,000 fine.
Sale and cultivation of marijuana carry even higher fines and punishment under federal law. First offenses can put someone in jail for five years, and large amounts can put someone in jail for life, with a one million dollar fine.
Virginia Marijuana Possession Laws
Possession of any amount of marijuana in Virginia is a misdemeanor. Jail time for a first possession offense can be up to 30 days, and comes with a maximum $500 fine. Any subsequent offenses are Class 1 misdemeanors.
Selling Marijuana in Virginia
Selling marijuana in Virginia is considered a worse crime because it enables others to break the law as well. Sale of up to half an ounce marijuana in Virginia is an automatic Class 1 misdemeanor. Sale of up to 5lbs of marijuana is Class5 felony. Anything sale over 5lbs comes with a 5-30 year jail sentence. Selling within 1000 yards of a school to a minor comes with much harsher penalties
However, giving someone marijuana is not as serious of an offense as selling marijuana. In Virginia, if the defendant can prove that they gave the alleged purchaser the marijuana for free, the defendant is only guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The marijuana must be given as an accommodation only, and not for any remuneration or to induce the recipient to become addicted.
Next Step: Get a Free Case Review
Marijuana laws around the country are constantly changing. If you or someone you love has been charged with a marijuana-related crime in Virginia, you'll want to know how the criminal process works including the maximum penalty you are facing. The good news is that there are many qualified drug crime attorneys in Virginia who can help you. Start now with a free case review.
Contact a qualified attorney.