Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In Montana, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. (Mont. Code Ann. § 50-32-222.) However, despite being a Schedule I drug, Montana does allow medical marijuana use under limited circumstances. While not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Montana.
To learn about Montana's medical marijuana laws, see Montana Medical Marijuana Laws.
For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in Montana, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Montana.
It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess up to 60 grams of marijuana or up to one gram of hashish (including small amounts for personal use) in Montana. Penalties vary according to whether the offense was a first or subsequent violation. (Mont. Code Ann. § 45-9-102(2).)
- First conviction. Penalties include a fine of between $100 and $500, and up to six months in jail.
- Second or subsequent conviction. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to three years in prison.
It is illegal to grow or process marijuana (or possess marijuana with the intent to do so) in Montana. Penalties vary according to the amount manufactured. (Mont. Code Ann. § 45-9-110(4).)
- Up to one pound or 30 plants. Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, up to ten years in prison, or both.
- More than one pound or 30 plants. Penalties include a fine of up to $50,000, and between two years and life imprisonment.
- Second and subsequent convictions. Penalties include a fine of up to $100,000, and twice the applicable prison sentence imposed for a first offense for the amount possessed (for example, up to 20 years in prison for up to one pound of marijuana).
Selling any amount of marijuana in Montana is illegal, an may be punished with a fine of up to $50,000, imprisoned for between one year and life imprisonment, or both. Selling to a minor may incur an additional $50,000 fine, at least two years in prison, or both. (Mont. Code Ann. § 45-9-101.)
It is illegal in Montana to use drug paraphernalia (or to possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. A violation is a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine of up to $500, up to 6 months in jail, or both. (Mont. Code Ann. § 45-10-103.)
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.