Cannabis Laws In The USA

There is much going on about cannabis everywhere. People want to know if it is legal to take cannabis or not. In many states of the USA, it is accepted legally as medicine or herb.

However, there are still many countries that do not accept the plant. In fact, it is considered as a drug that is as harmful as heroin. As hemp is legal now in the USA, people are still wondering if the law will change further in the future and accept the use of cannabis.

Can you own cannabis in the USA?

In the USA there is federal law and state law. Usually, federal law supersedes state law, which includes the usage of cannabis. Let us look at some federal laws that could affect the usage of cannabis in the USA.

Controlled substance Act

This is a classification system of drugs that was passed as a part of President Nixon’s comprehensive drug abuse prevention and control in 1970.

Here drugs were divided into five categories. While placing them in each category, their risks, potential abuse were taken into consideration.

A schedule was made, where cannabis stood as an I level drug. Unfortunately, it is in line with heroin, LSD, and other drugs. Hence, the usage of cannabis and its acceptance is in question.

Anti-drug abuse act

This law was established in the year 1986. It made sure that anyone who offended the law will be punished.

So, anyone caught with cannabis and using them is law offenders. Along with owning cannabis, how much cannabis they have was also taken into consideration, and the person is punished accordingly.

After some time in 1988, the law was changed for minors caught using cannabis. Unfortunately, it seemed that there was an increase in prisoners who were caught using drugs after this law was established.

Current Federal Penalties

This law is not related to the quantity of cannabis used by an individual. Rather, it depends on how many times a person has committed a crime.

If anyone is caught with cannabis, he can be jailed up to one year with a fine of $1000 in his first attempt. For the second time, the punishment is mandatory for 15 days which can up to two years, with a fine of $2500.

Since these two times are considered as less severe, a person can get away with light punishments. However, if the person is caught the third time, it is a considered serious offense that must be dealt with.

For the third time, the compulsory jail time raises to 90 days and it can go higher up to three-year maximum. The fine also rises to $5000.

Additionally, it will be taken into account how much cannabis you have and for what purpose. Here things can be taken in two ways, whether you were using cannabis for yourself, or you were willing to distribute it.

A small amount of cannabis fall under the personal use categories, so he will be sentenced as mentioned above. But if there is a higher quantity of drugs with equipment or lots of money, this is a far severe case than the rest.

President trump cannabis stance

Donald trump the USA president added another confusing point to the cannabis law of the state. Breaking news in the year 2018 revealed his involvement with the anti-weed committee. Here he was working on a campaign to make things worse about the drug.

There it was found that all the positive factors about the drug will be hidden and negatives will be highlighted to ensure its usage remains illegal.

Although in some sources it was claimed that Trump is not against cannabis. He will approve it in the states as it has medicinal properties.

A former US attorney general stated that cannabis is not as harmful as heroin.

Can you sell cannabis in the USA?

Unfortunately, selling cannabis is far worse than owning them in the USA. It is a more serious offense and hence is dealt with more severe punishments.

There are penalties on the transportation of cannabis, smuggling, or sale of cannabis. In order to determine this, the following is checked thoroughly;

  • Which drug was being carried or sold to people?
  • Where is its distribution location?
  • Where was the criminal caught and arrested?
  • Was the drug being distributed to minors?

Now cannabis is not considered as ‘hard drug’ so the penalties are not as severe as being caught with cocaine or LSD.

In those cases, if one is caught the first time with less than 50kg of the drug, he can be sentenced up to five years with $250000 fine. For the second attempt, it can go as up as 10 years with a fine of $500000.

Anyone caught with a 50 to 99kg of drugs can be sentenced in jail for 20 years with a fine of $1million in his first attempt.

If the quantity goes even higher from 100 to 999 kg then 5 to 40 years of the prison sentence with $500000 fine. With 1000 kg of cannabis, one may receive a life sentence with a fine of 1 million dollars.

Additionally, if the person is caught selling cannabis to the minors, then the penalty is doubled. This is applicable when the person is caught within 1000 feet of a school.

However, if there is an exchange of cannabis with no money involved, it is not a crime. Gifting and sharing are acceptable by the law.

Can you grow cannabis in the USA?

Under USA federal law, growing cannabis is a crime. Here one will be punished according to the number of cannabis plants they are caught growing.

The charges are as follows;

If the offender is growing less than 50 plants, then he can be jailed for five years with a fine of $250000.

When the plant number is between 50 to 99 one could be in prison for up to 20 years with a fine of 1 million.

If someone is growing from 100 to 999 plants, the person may be prisoned from 5 years to 40 years with a fine charged $500000.

Anyone caught growing 1000 plants or more can be jailed for up to 10 years with a fine of 1 million dollars.

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