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Marijuana-related convictions carry harsh penalties in Missouri

News about the decriminalization of marijuana seems to be occurring at a rapid pace. While some states have opted to decriminalize the drug or even legalize it, the federal government hasn't changed federal laws pertaining to the drug. Missouri laws still takes a harsh stance against marijuana, so building a defense if you are charged with a crime relating to marijuana is vital.

The penalties for marijuana-related convictions in Missouri are so severe that you can face time in jail for having the equivalent of one joint of marijuana. Selling 30 grams or more of marijuana can carry a life sentence. In some cases, mandatory minimum sentences apply to marijuana-related convictions.

Simple possession of marijuana in amounts less than 35 grams carries a penalty of a fine of $1,000 and up to a year in jail. It is sometimes possible to get sentenced to probation if the charge is your first marijuana-related charge.

Being convicted of possession of 35 grams to 30 kilograms of marijuana is a felony that carries 1 year in prison and a $5,000 fine. All charges related to marijuana sales are felony charges. The least serious of these, for selling less than 5 grams, carries a seven-year prison sentence and a fine of $5,000. More than 5 grams carries a five- to 15-year period of incarceration and a fine of $20,000.

Trafficking marijuana has even more serious penalties. A conviction of attempt to deliver or distribution of 30 to 100 kilograms carries 10 years to a life sentence. More than 100 kilograms carries up to a life sentence without parole.

As you can see, Missouri takes marijuana charges very seriously. With that in mind, you should work to build your defense as soon as possible after you learn that you are being charged with a marijuana-related charge.

Source: FindLaw, "Missouri Marijuana Laws," accessed Sep. 03, 2015

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