What does West Virginia law say about marijuana?

The penalties for marijuana possession in West Virginia remain very harsh. Unlike many other states that are legalizing marijuana for recreational use, medicinal use, or both uses, possession of marijuana is still a crime in the state. According to the law, marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which means that is considered the same as heroin and methamphetamine in the eye of the law. Understanding what penalties you face for a marijuana charge can help you determine your plea and what to do from there.

What is the penalty for possession of marijuana?

People who are convicted of possessing marijuana might qualify for a deferred prosecution program if it is a first offense. If that isn't possible, the fine is 90 days to six months in jail on a first offense. On subsequent offenses, the penalty is double, which means up to one year in jail.

Is there a penalty for having items related to marijuana usage or sales?

Yes, people who are convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia can face time in jail and fines. On a first offense, the penalty is up to $5,000 as a fine and six months to one year in jail. As with possession of marijuana, the penalties double on subsequent convictions.

What are the penalties for dealing, selling, and trafficking marijuana?

All of these charges are considered felony charges in West Virginia. Generally, a first offense would include a possible penality of one to five years in prison. All subsequent convictions would come with doubled penalties. Additionally, cases that involve sale to a minor or sales near schools are subjected to a mandatory minimum of two years in prison.

Source: FindLaw, "West Virginia Marijuana Laws," accessed April 19, 2016

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