Marijuana, or cannabis, is an illegal controlled substance found in Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act. The criminalization of marijuana began in the early 20th century, with the first restrictions for the sale of marijuana in the U.S. established in 1906. Now, marijuana is illegal in many countries throughout the world. Although marijuana is not considered to be one of the more dangerous illegal drugs, crimes related to marijuana are still heavily prosecuted, especially in states without any medical marijuana laws.
As of 2011, there is a bare bones medical marijuana law in Maryland, though it still allows for an affirmative defense against certain marijuana crimes. If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Maryland, one of the knowledgeable Waldorf drug crime defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC can help you understand your legal rights and options.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana, or cannabis, refers to the many forms and/or preparations of the cannabis plant which are used as a psychoactive drug. The main psychoactive compound in marijuana is commonly referred to as THC. Unlike many drugs which fall under one main category, such as stimulant, hallucinogen, or depressant, cannabis exhibits a combination of properties that may lend itself to multiple categories. It is considered most closely related to hallucinogens, however.
There are many different drug crimes in the state that apply to all illegal drugs including marijuana. These crimes include:
- Administering the drug to another;
- Obtaining or attempting to obtain the drug;
- Possession with intent to distribute;
- Possession of drug-producing machinery, equipment, or instruments;
- Creation, distribution, or possession of the drug labeled and/or packaged as another; or
- Keeping a vehicle, building, dwelling, or other place where the drug is administered or where the drug or controlled paraphernalia are produced, stored, distributed, or concealed.
Additional “related and derivative crimes’ and “miscellaneous crimes” are also against state law. A person charged with one or more of the drug crimes listed above will also likely be charged with other “related” and/or “miscellaneous” drug crimes.
Getting the Aggressive Representation You Need
The penalties for drug crimes in Maryland may vary slightly, depending on the crime, but almost all involve a felony charge with a prison sentence and a hefty fine. Just because the drug is marijuana does not mean a prosecutor will “take it easy.” Unless you fall under the small percentage of residents that can claim medical use as a defense, you are going to need to protect your legal rights and fight against excessive penalties. If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Maryland, you deserve skilled legal representation. At Alpert Schreyer, our marijuana defense lawyers can build a strong defense on your behalf. To learn more about your legal rights and options, call us today for a free consultation at (866) 444-6363.