The Maryland drug laws are complex and criminalize use, possession and distribution of controlled and uncontrolled substances alike.
POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
It is illegal and prohibited to:
(1) Possess/transfer a controlled dangerous substance unless procured via:
- Legal prescription or
- Issued from a licensed and otherwise authorized establishment.
(2) It is further illegal to procure a controlled dangerous substance by:
- Fraudulent and deceitful manner or material misrepresentation;
- Counterfeiting or altering a legal prescription;
- The material concealment of facts;
- Falsifying name/address;
- Assuming title or falsely misrepresenting as manufacturer/distributor, or otherwise authorized dealer; or
- Writing or producing a falsified and counterfeited prescription.
Violation of this section is considered a misdemeanor and on conviction subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year/fines not exceeding $5000.
Second and third offense increases the penalties to 18 months/incarceration/fines up to $5000. For the fourth and subsequent conviction up to 2 years/$5000 in fines.
Controlled dangerous substance includes MD drug schedules I-V (see resources below).
Generally possession of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor and possession carries up to 6 month incarceration/up to $1000 in fines.
However possession of 10 grams or less has been decriminalized and only punishable via civil penalties. First offense fines not to exceed $100. Second offense up to $250, and third and subsequent offense up to $500 in civil fines.
If the defendant is under the age of 21, then the court may also order:
- Drug education
- Drug assessment and treatment
If the court finds that the person used or possessed marijuana because of medical necessity, this will be considered a mitigating factor, and on conviction of a violation of this section, the maximum penalty that the court may impose is a fine not exceeding $100.
Moreover, it is an affirmative defense and if asserting properly should result in case dismissal if the :
- Defendant has been diagnosed with chronic and debilitating medical condition
- Condition is severe/resistant and unresponsive to conventional medicinal treatment;
- Use of marijuana will most likely provide a therapeutic and tangible relief from the diagnosed condition.
MANUFACTURE, DISTRIBUTE, POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE
A person may not:
- Distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance; or
- Possess a controlled dangerous substance in such amounts as one could reasonably infer under all the facts and circumstances an intent or indicia to distribute or dispense a controlled dangerous substance.
Penalties for violation of this section start from 5 years/$15,000 fines and depending on the severity of and the listed schedule for the controlled substance increase significantly.
A person may not:
- Manufacture a controlled dangerous substance, or
- Manufacture, distribute, or possess a machine, equipment, instrument, implement, device, or
- A combination of item listed adapted or intended to produce a controlled dangerous substance under circumstances and conditions that one may reasonably infer an intent to use the item,
- To produce, sell, or dispense a controlled dangerous substance.
Counterfeit substance is defined as a controlled dangerous substance, or its container or labeling, that:
- Without being expressly authorized, bears a likeness of the trademark/trade name or other significant identifying marks or imprints, numbers, or device of a manufacturer, distributor, or dispenser and
- Thereby falsely purports or misleads or is represented to be the original product.
Creating, possessing or possessing a counterfeit substance with intent to distribute it all are in violation of this section.
Conviction from violating the above three sections, manufacture, distribute and possession with intent to distribute, or possession or use of paraphernalia, as well as counterfeit substance all are considered a felony conviction and depending on the substance and the schedule attached carry fines of up to $25000 and jail time up to ranging from 5-20 years.
Thus it is imperative to involve a tenacious knowledgeable and experienced Maryland Drug lawyer/Maryland Drug Possession Lawyer thoroughly familiar with Maryland Drug Statutes to defend your rights and to fight back against the broad based and unforgiving Maryland drug charges.
Contact our Maryland Criminal Lawyer today to schedule an initial case evaluation and analysis.