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Tennessee Marijuana Laws

The national debate over the legalization of marijuana has been continuing for over 40 years and the majority of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana in one form or another. Despite the national tread to legalize marijuana, the possession of Marijuana is still illegal under Tennessee’s drug laws. In fact, Tennessee Marijuana laws require mandatory fines and a jail sentence. Some Tennessee counties even require the mandatory service of jail time. Tennessee Criminal Courts view the prosecution of marijuana cases very seriously and they do not give you a free pass because it is your first time in court.

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule VI drug under Tennessee drug laws. Marijuana is also the most widely-used illegal drug in the world. Marijuana is created from dried cannabis plants and people have been using marijuana since the beginning of recorded time. In the 1960's, marijuana became a symbol for the counter culture. Since then, marijuana has gained acceptance by many people in the mainstream of society. Many conservatives even favor the illegalization of marijuana in some form or another. In particular, medical marijuana has a gained a growing acceptance in many states and recreational use has approved by both Colorado and Washington. However, Tennessee law enforcement and the courts crack down regularly on the illegal use of marijuana. Tennessee marijuana laws are no laughing matter. It is unwise to take marijuana charges lightly and assume that it is not a big deal. Trust me all drug charges are serious. In fact, many corporate employers and the federal government refuse to hire anyone who has a prior drug conviction on their permanent record and that policy extends to cases involving marijuana. Once a permanent drug conviction is placed on your record, it is difficult to remove.

The main chemical found in Marijuana is THC. THC and many other chemicals contribute to the user getting the sense of being high. Marijuana is primarily used in its dried form. The cannabis plant also produces a resin called "hash" or "hashish" along with a dark substance called "hash oil." Hashish and its by-products are also listed as a schedule VI drug. Smoking is the main form of ingestion of these various forms of THC. Marijuana is also commonly seen in baked goods. However, smoking is the preferred delivery system because it is the most efficient and powerful. Smoke delivers the THC quickly into the bloodstream via the lungs. Smoking helps the user get high quicker.

Marijuana does have many positive effects on its users. These positive effects are found especially in medical uses. Sick patients find relief from nausea, vomiting, and pain. In addition, marijuana helps with the stimulation of hunger which is extremely helpful for cancer patients. Medical studies have also shown that marijuana has fewer side effects than traditionally used narcotic medications. In particular, the continued use of marijuana does not harm the liver and other essential organs like narcotics. Marijuana is simply easier on your body. Despite the promising medical uses for marijuana, Tennessee law does not allow or recognize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. This applies even if the user has a valid prescription from another state. This is largely due to anti-marijuana groups that argue that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to the use of harder drugs such as heroin or cocaine. However, there is little hard evidence to support this claim. In fact, there is greater evidence to support the proposition that alcohol is truly the gateway drug. Yet, alcohol remains legal and is even celebrated on television and the movies.

The chemicals from marijuana stay in the body for a significant amount of time and detection is especially easy if the subject is a frequent user. As a general rule, marijuana can be detected in urine samples for 30 days and even longer in hair follicle tests. However, marijuana can stay in the body longer if the subject is a frequent marijuana user. This is important fact to know because probation departments frequently require urine testing as a condition of probation. If a positive sample is collected while on probation, a probation violation will likely follow and the probationer could end up in jail. So therefore, it is advisable to purge your body completely of marijuana and its by-products before going onto probation in Tennessee. This simple advice could save you a great deal of trouble and even your freedom.

Here is a summary of Tennessee Marijuana Laws and How Tennessee Enforces Marijuana Penalties.

Tennessee Simple Possession Laws: (usually an amount that is less than 1/2 ounce or 14 grams) Simple possession of schedule VI is a class A misdemeanor which requires a jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days and a fine to not exceed $2,500.00. There is not mandatory jail time required under the statute but it still could be part the prosecutor’s plea offer. A first simple possession conviction requires a mandatory minimum fine of $250.00, second convictions are $500.00, and subsequent convictions are $1,000.00. The maximum allowable fine is $2,500.00 is schedule VI simple possession cases.

Tennessee Felony Possession of Marijuana Laws

*Any amount over ½ ounce can be charged as a felony offense. The mere possession over ½ ounce creates a presumption that the amount possessed is with the intention to sale.is

Marijuana possession in the amount of 1/2 ounce to 10 pounds is a Class E felony that requires a jail sentence of 1 to 6 years and a fine to not exceed $5,000.00.

Marijuana possession in the amount of 10 to 70 pounds is a Class D felony that requires a jail sentence of 2 to 12 years and a fine to not exceed $50,000.00.

Marijuana possession in the amount of 70 to 300 pounds is a Class B Felony that requires a jail sentence of 8 to 30 years and a fine to not exceed $200,000.

Marijuana possession in the amount of 300 pounds or more is a Class A felony that requires a jail sentence of 15 to 60 years and a fine to not exceed $500,000.

Tennessee Felony Marijuana Cultivation Laws

Marijuana cultivation of 10 plants or less is a Class E felony that requires a jail sentence of 1 to 6 years and a fine to not exceed $5,000.00.

Marijuana cultivation of 10 to 19 plants (regardless of plant weight) is a Class D felony that requires a jail sentence of 2 to 12 years and a fine to not exceed $50,000.00.

Marijuana cultivation of 20 to 99 plants (regardless of plant weight) is a Class C felony that requires a jail sentence of 3 to 15 years and a fine to not exceed $100,000.000.

Marijuana cultivation of 100 to 499 plants (regardless of plant weight) is a Class B felony that requires a jail sentence of 8 to 30 years and a fine to not exceed $200,000.00.

Marijuana cultivation of 500 plants or more (regardless of plant weight) is a Class A felony that requires a jail sentence of 15 to 60 years and a fine to not exceed $500,000.00.

Tennessee Hashish Laws

Hashish possession up to 2 pounds is a Class E felony that requires a jail sentence of 1 to 6 years and a fine to not exceed $5,000.00.

Hashish possession of 2 to 4 pounds is a Class D felony that requires a jail sentence of 2 to 12 years and a fine to not exceed $50,000.00.

Hashish possession of 4 to 8 pounds is a Class C felony that requires a jail sentence of 3 to 15 years and a fine to not exceed $100,000.00.

Hashish possession of 8 to 15 pounds is a Class B felony that requires a jail sentence of 8 to 30 years and a fine to not exceed $200,000.00.

Hashish possession of 15 pounds or more is a Class A felony that requires a jail sentence of 15 to 60 years and a fine to not exceed $500,000.00.

Getting Help from a Tennessee Marijuana Laws Attorney

The marijuana crimes discussed above are for instances when the accused is charged under Tennessee’s marijuana laws. It is possible that a Defendant could also be charged for a Marijuana crime under both Federal and Tennessee laws. Tennessee Drug laws are tough, and Marijuana laws are no exception. You need an experienced criminal attorney who knows the nuisances of marijuana defense. If you need help with a marijuana case, give Lee Martin a call at 615-345-1988. He knows the "ins" and "out's" of Tennessee Marijuana Laws and its defenses. He knows how to get results in Tennessee marijuana cases.

I help good people restore their lives

-Lee Martin is a Nashville criminal defense lawyer who has gained national recognition as a DUI and criminal defense attorney.  With over a decade of experience, he knows how to get results in criminal defense cases.  If you are seeking an experienced criminal defense attorney, use his experiences to your advantage.  If you need help with a pending marijuana charge, give him a call at 615-345-1988.

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