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An Overview of Maryland Marijuana Laws

marijuana laws

In recent years, marijuana laws have changed dramatically. Some states, including Maryland, have changed the laws surrounding marijuana, making some of the charges that could have once sent someone to jail now amount to a civil penalty. However, depending on how much of the drug you are caught with, you could end up with jail time and a felony on your record.

The punishments for marijuana-related crimes vary depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the crime. This article will give you an overview of marijuana laws in Maryland and the consequences that can happen if you break these laws.

Marijuana Drug Laws in Maryland

Different types of drug arrests come with varying punishment levels per Maryland Criminal Law, Title 5, Subtitle 6, Part I, § 5-601.


If you are charged with possession, the amount of the drug that you have in your possession will determine your penalty.

  • Less than 10 grams will result in only a fine of up to $100 for your first offense, $250 for your second offense, and as much as $500 for future offenses.
  • If you are in possession of 10 grams to 50 pounds, that is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or $1,000 in fines.

If you are under 21 or a third-time offender, you will have to go through a substance abuse disorder assessment and a drug education program.

The possession of any type of drug paraphernalia (pipes, bongs, and rolling papers) is a criminal offense. If you are under the age of 20 years old, you can face the fines listed above and be required to take drug education classes.

Possession With Intent to Distribute

If you have been charged with possession with intent to distribute, you will likely face more severe penalties, up to and including felony charges, fines, and jail time, depending on the factors of your case.

  • Less than 50 pounds will result in a felony charge with 5 years in jail and/or a $15,000 fine.
  • Fifty pounds or more will result in a felony charge with at least 40 years in jail.
  • All subsequent offenses will double the penalties with a mandatory two years in jail.
  • If you were within 1,000 feet of a school or in a school vehicle, you face a fine of up to $40,000 and 2-5 years in jail.
  • Intent to distribute to a minor can be fined up to $20,000 and 20 years in jail.


If you are identified as a major drug trafficker or are part of an organized crime syndicate, the punishments are more severe.

  • More than 50 pounds can result in a fine of $1,000,000 and 20-40 years in jail.

Medical Marijuana

In 2013, the Maryland government passed a law that allowed qualified patients to use marijuana for medical purposes. Although the law doesn’t allow residents to grow plants at home, there are more than 100 licensed dispensaries statewide.

Recreational Use

At the time this article was published, the recreational use of marijuana is illegal. There is, however, currently a topic on the ballot to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. If passed, beginning in July 2023, it would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for those who are 21 or older.

State Drug Laws vs Federal Drug Laws

Although some states allow the use and sale of marijuana, the possession and sale of marijuana is still a crime in the eyes of the federal government per the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). And although federal law wins out if there is a conflict with state law, most federal agencies allow states to handle marijuana cases as they choose. It’s important to remember, however, that the federal government can still penalize anything from possession to cultivation to distribution and trafficking.

Facing a Marijuana-Related Charge? Let Jeremy Widder Law Help.

If you are facing a marijuana-related drug charge, the first thing you should do after you’ve been charged is to enlist the services of an experienced drug crime lawyer. Even if you believe you are innocent, a lawyer can protect your rights and ensure that you don’t say or do something that can hurt your case.

At Jeremy Widder Law, we know that drug-related offenses can be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why we are here to answer all your questions and get you the best outcome possible. When you turn to Jeremy Widder Law, you can know with confidence that you will get the legal support you want and the experience you need.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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