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Tennessee Marijuana Laws

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Campbell County Criminal Defense AttorneyIn July 2020, Virginia became the 16th state in the country to legalize medical marijuana. In April of this year, Virginia lawmakers passed another bill that legalized simple possession of marijuana and limited home growth. That law just went into effect on July 1.

But here in Tennessee, marijuana use--whether recreational or medical-- is still completely banned. Given the changes in Virginia’s law, many law enforcement agencies that border Virginia say they will be on the lookout for an increase in black market activity and an increase in driving under the influence of marijuana, as well as any transporting the drug across state lines.

Tennessee Marijuana Penalties

Tennessee is one of only 14 states that has not yet authorized medical marijuana, despite polls that show more than 80 percent of residents support the measure. The state is also one of only a handful where a conviction for simple possession of pot will result in jail time.

In 2016, both Memphis and Nashville passed ordinances that gave police officers the discretion to charge an individual with a civil infraction instead of drug possession if that person had only a small amount of marijuana on them. However, the state stepped in and passed a law that repealed local marijuana decriminalization laws, stating that state government law preempts local government when it comes to drug laws.

A conviction involving a range of marijuana concentration starting at one half-ounce up to 10 pounds (charged as a Class E felony) could result in one to six years in prison and a fine of between $2,000 to $5,000.

If an individual is arrested and convicted of cultivating ten or fewer marijuana plants, Tennessee charges this crime as a felony. The penalty is a one- to six-year prison sentence.

Tennessee also hands out harsh sentences if a person is convicted of possessing, using, manufacturing, or selling drug paraphernalia. The law classifies marijuana paraphernalia as any item used to use, store, sell, process, grow, or harvest the drug. A conviction for possession could result in 12 months in jail and/or a fine of between $150 to $2,500. A conviction for selling drug paraphernalia could mean a prison sentence of one to six years and/or a fine of up to $3,000.

Contact a Campbell County Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with any type of crime associated with marijuana in Tennessee, a conviction could have a significant impact on your future, affecting your ability to obtain employment and possibly your eligibility for student aid. Having a skilled Jacksboro, TN drug crimes attorney advocating for you against an overzealous prosecutor could make the difference in the turnout of your case. Call The Law Office of William F. Evans at 423-449-7980 to schedule a free and confidential consultation and find out how our firm can help.


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