Criminal possession of marijuana is the possession in a public place of marijuana that is either burning or open to public view. The charge is open to interpretation based on how much marijuana is found.
The criminal possession of marijuana has five different degrees to the charge. Every degree would require jail time ranging from a few months to a few years. The punishment can be elevated if there are additional circumstances. The amount of time is based on the amount of marijuana believed to be in the possession of the defendant.
Some of the possible defenses against criminal possession of marijuana:
- Illegal Search: the defense of illegal search is arguing that the police illegally obtained or placed in your possession marijuana that is protected by the fourth amendment.
- Not In Your Possession: the defense of non-possession is that someone else has ownership of the marijuana (i.e. the marijuana is found in someone else’s home).
The difference between state and federal statues is the amount of marijuana that the accused is to being possession of across state lines. This would constitute an interstate trafficking charge and drug trafficking as well. Federal statues also deal with the sale of marijuana primarily rather than possession which is a local ordinance.
In May 2013, actress Amanda Bynes was arrested at her home criminal possession of marijuana, attempted tampering with evidence, and reckless endangerment. According to the prosecution, police observed her throwing drug materials from her window. She stated that the alleged item was actually a vase and not a bong. These charges were later dismissed in June 2014.