Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In West Virginia, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. (W.Va. Code Ann. § 60A-2-204.) Also, while not covered in this article, it is a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in West Virginia.
For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in West Virginia, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in West Virginia.
It is a crime to possess any amount of marijuana in West Virginia. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, between 90 days and 6 months in jail, or both. (W.Va. Code Ann. § 60A-4-401.) However, at the judge’s discretion, charges against a first offender may be dismissed, and the offender discharged if the defendant successfully completes at least six months of probation (including any terms—such as community service, or drug treatment – set by the judge). (W.Va. Code Ann. § 60A-4-407.)
Cultivation and Sale
It is illegal to cultivate or sell any amount of marijuana (or possess or transport marijuana into state with the intent to do so) in West Virginia. Penalties include a fine of up to $15,000, between one and five years in prison, or both; with increased penalties for sales within 1,000 feet of a school or to a minor. (W.Va. Code Ann. § 60A-4-401.)
It is illegal in West Virginia to 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 $5,000, between six months and one year in jail, or both. Second and subsequent offenses incur double penalties. (W.Va. Code Ann. § 60A-4-403a.)
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.