Marijuana is a fairly controversial subject these days for a number of reasons, mostly having to do with the fact that different states treat it so differently. Whereas states like Colorado and California have completely legalized consumption and possession of this substance in a limited capacity, other states have refused to budge in this regard, still holding to possession of any amount being considered a criminal offense.
Tennessee is in the latter group, however recent pushes for further study and the possible adoption of marijuana for medical use have become highly-contested issues in the state government. Most recently, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Governor Randy McNally created a committee in order to study the effects of medical marijuana. Those in support of medical marijuana are hoping that this leads to change due to marijuana's widely-accepted benefits for those who suffer from some serious conditions.
So while we could see these laws change within the next few years, let's clear things up in regards to Tennessee's marijuana laws, specifically pertaining to medical marijuana.
Marijuana is considered a Schedule VI drug under TN Code Ann § 39-17-415, meaning everything from possession to sale to cultivation are all considered criminal offenses. Simple possession of any amount of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor offense, carrying up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $250. However, a push to have simple possession downgraded to a civil penalty is also gaining steam in the state government.
Selling marijuana in any sort is automatically considered a felony, meaning you could face anywhere from a year in jail all the way up to a maximum of 60 years if you're caught selling more than 300 lbs. of the substance. Maximum fines can also range anywhere between $5,000 and $200,000.
Many people who partake in medical marijuana, especially those who live in states where the practice is legal, will choose to cultivate their own marijuana plants. This isn't an acceptable practice in Tennessee, and often leads to felony charges that are similar to marijuana sale. Having more than 500 plants for cultivation means you could face up to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000!
Are there any exceptions to these stringent marijuana laws? Actually, it turns out there are. Tennessee has passed a Medical CBD law, which essentially allows a highly-refined version of cannabis extracts to be used for medicinal purposes only. Signed back in 2014, this law allows for a highly-refined version of marijuana to be prescribed by a medical professional to help treat “intractable seizures.” This legal form of marijuana is extremely low in THC, the intoxicating agent found in marijuana.
Have you been arrested and charged with marijuana possession, sale, or cultivation? Our Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney is standing by! Call The Clarke Law Firm today at (615) 796-6299 to schedule a consultation.