It may come as no surprise that Utah was one of the first states to outlaw marijuana. The criminalization of this substance happened clear back in 1915. As of this article’s writing, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in Utah. Citizens who favor legalization for either medicinal or recreational use can find themselves in a frustrating place. In many ways, the societal views of cannabis, weed, or pot use have changed and will probably continue to do so. States like Colorado, Nevada, and California have legalized the use of this substance for medical and recreational use. The idea that something is legal in one state, then illegal in another, is philosophically intriguing.
Marijuana possession charges in Utah
Regardless of what our neighboring states are doing, one thing is still certain. It is illegal to carry any amount of cannabis in Utah without specific approval; if you or a loved one has been arrested for possession, the following charges depending on the amount in your possession at the time of the arrest.
- One ounce or less – class B misdemeanor
- Up to six months of jail time
- Up to $1,940 in fines and an assessment
- Possession in a drug-free zone such as a school, church, or park can result in a charge being upgraded to a class A misdemeanor
- Between one ounce and one pound – class A misdemeanor
- Up to 12 months of jail time
- Up to $4,790 in fines and an assessment
- Between one and 100 pounds – a third-degree felony
- Up to five years in Utah State Prison
- Up to $9,540 in fines
- Over 100 pounds – a second-degree felony
- Up to 15 years in Utah State Prison
- Up to $19,040 in fines and an assessment
The implication of weed charges
Most people find themselves in a position where they have less than one pound of marijuana. Relative to other drug charges, the penalties can seem relatively light. This is especially true if you are a first time offender and happened to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. When you have a small amount of marijuana or paraphernalia in your possession, the central area of concern may be other areas besides fines or jail time. Salt Lake City drug crime attorneys can help deal with the overall impact of a drug charge. This includes having the crime stay on your permanent record or the suspension of your driver’s license. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with possession or distribution, you should consider speaking with an attorney near you.