Virginia Marijuana Laws

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Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. While non-medical use of marijuana is illegal in Virginia, the state allows medical marijuana use under limited circumstances. And while not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Virginia.

For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in Virginia, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Virginia.

Marijuana Possession

It is a crime to possess any amount of marijuana in Virginia. Penalties vary according whether the offense was a first or subsequent conviction, and increased penalties apply to offenses near a school. (Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-250.1.)

  • First conviction. Penalties include a fine of up to $500, up to 30 days in jail, or both.
  • Second conviction. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.

Sale

Selling marijuana (or possessing marijuana with the intent to sell it) in Virginia is a crime. Penalties vary according to the amount sold or possessed for sale, with increased penalties for offenses that occur near a school. (Virginia Code Ann. § 18.2-248.1.)

  • One half ounce or less. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • More than one half ounce, but less than five pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, between one and ten years in jail, or both.
  • Five pounds or more. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, between five and 30 years in jail, or both.
  • Sale to a minor. An adult who sells marijuana to a minor who is at least three years younger than the adult may be punished with a fine of up to $100,000, between ten and 50 years in prison, or both. (Virginia Code Ann. § 18.2-255.)

Drug Paraphernalia

It is illegal in Virginia to manufacture or sell drug paraphernalia (or possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties for possession include a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, or both. Selling paraphernalia may be punished with a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both. And selling paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years younger than the seller incurs a fine of up to $2,500, between one and five years in prison, or both. (Virginia Code Ann. § 18.2-265.3.)

The Value of Local Legal Representation

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.

by: , Contributing Author

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