The state of Maryland is fairly strict when it comes to drug laws. If a person is charged with a drug crime, they can face significant consequences as a result. This can include jail time as well as overwhelming fines. Individuals who are facing drug charges should retain the services of an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney who can properly fight these charges and protect their future.
Federal Drug Scheduling
In Maryland, drug convictions are usually determined by the Federal Scheduling of the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. This schedule categorizes drugs based on their rate of abuse, their potential for addiction, medical benefits, and safety. Unfortunately, the categorization is outdated but still exists. The schedule is as follows:
- Schedule I drugs: These are the most dangerous drugs that are considered to have no medical benefit and a high rate of addiction and abuse. Examples can include marijuana, heroin, MDMA, LSD, and bath salts.
- Schedule II drugs: These have a high potential for addiction with some medicinal value. Examples can include cocaine, fentanyl, methadone, morphine, methamphetamine, amphetamine, barbiturates, and hydrocodone.
- Schedule III drugs: These have a medium level of abuse with some medicinal uses. Examples can include ketamine, anabolic steroids, and drugs that have more than 90 milligrams of codeine per dose.
- Schedule IV and V drugs: These are considered the least dangerous drugs with a low potential for abuse and regular use for medicinal purposes.
Marijuana Laws in Maryland
While many states have decided to legalize recreational marijuana, Maryland is not one of them. In the state, the drug is still illegal, although it has been decriminalized to a certain extent. Unlawful possession of marijuana can result in serious consequences, such as:
- Possession of fewer than 10 grams is a civil offense with a $100 fine
- Possession of at least 10 grams is a misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail
- Possession of more than 50 pounds is a felony with a minimum sentence of 5 years and a $100,000 fine
- There are increased penalties for subsequent offenses
If an individual is charged for possession with intent to distribute, they can face penalties that are much more severe. This can include the following:
- Less than 50 pounds can result in a $15,000 fine and 5 years in jail
- Greater than 50 pounds can result in a $15,000 fine and a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years
- Greater than 50 pounds as a drug kingpin can result in a $1,000,000 fine and between 20-40 years in jail
- In a school vehicle or within 1000 feet of a school can result in a $20,000 fine and 20 years in jail
Contact our Firm
The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz has decades of experience representing clients in Howard County and Anne Arundel County, Maryland who have been charged with a crime or injured by another party’s negligence. Contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to discuss your case.