The world of cannabis has changed drastically in the United States over the years. Two-thirds of Americans now support legalizing the plant and nearly 90% support legalizing medical marijuana.
Sure, we might not have expunged the records of cannabis-related crimes yet or sorted out all the logistics and regulations for smooth operation in some states, but we’ve still come a long way.
Despite the majority of Americans supporting the legalization of cannabis, some states continue to take the Schedule 1 classification of cannabis very seriously. Knowing which states have the strictest laws can keep you out of trouble, especially if you live in a state where you’ve grown accustomed to walking into a shop and leaving with an assortment of weed-infused treats.
The cannabis laws in Arizona are some of the harshest around.
Medical marijuana is legal with a valid card. Medical users may buy up to 2.5 ounces every two weeks or grow a maximum of 12 plants if they are over 25 miles away from a dispensary.
Anyone else caught with bud is subject to felony charges. It does not matter the amount or circumstances. The least serious possible offense is a Class 6 felony if caught with less than two pounds for personal use. That’s a minimum sentence of six months and $1,000 in fines.
Small amounts (up to 20 grams) of cannabis is a misdemeanor in Florida with a maximum sentence of one year plus a $1,000 fine. More than 20 grams is considered a felony, punishable by up to a 5-year sentence and up to $5,000 in fines.
Selling or delivering weed within 1,000 feet of a school (including colleges), a park, or other areas as specified by the law results in a felony with up to 15 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
If you’re caught with an ounce or less in Georgia, you could be given up to a year sentence along with a $1,000 fine. Anything above an ounce is a felony, starting at 1-10 years and $5,000 in fines.
The sale of any amount is also a felony in Georgia.
Despite being legal, Georgia residents could not purchase CBD oil until the recent signing of a medical marijuana bill.
Possessing three ounces or less of cannabis in Idaho will get you a misdemeanor, with up to a year of imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Anything beyond that is considered a felony. Selling any amount of weed starts at a year of imprisonment, with up to $50,000 in fines.
Despite medical marijuana still being non-existent in Kansas, the state only recently calmed down a bit on their cannabis laws by legalizing CBD.
Beyond CBD, Kansas has bleak marijuana laws. Any amount of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor with up to six months incarceration and a $1,000 fine. Any sale or cultivation of the plant will result in a felony.
First-time offenders may receive a fine of up to $300 or 15 days of imprisonment if they have 14 grams or less. More than that, up to 2.5 pounds, will result in a $500 fine or up to six months imprisonment.
It takes a lot to get a felony in Louisiana (60 grams or more.) If you’re growing any amount of weed though, you could face $50,000 in fines on the first offense.
All of the marijuana-related offenses in Louisiana increase by 1.5 times the original maximum sentence if they occur within 2,000 feet of a drug-free zone.
If you get caught with half an ounce or less, the first offense could be 30 days imprisonment and up to $500 in fines. The second offense of this amount leads to a year of incarceration and up to $2,500 in fines.
According to NORML, “having a large quantity of marijuana is not proof of intent to distribute alone” in the state. If caught distributing over a half-ounce and under five pounds, offenders may receive between 1 and 10 years of imprisonment, though the judge may use more discretion on the first offense.
While there was a recent push to pass legislation to legalize and decriminalize the plant, it failed.
Any amount found in your possession can land you a misdemeanor with up to six months incarceration and a $1,000 fine. Even worse, any subsequent offense with any amount is considered a felony with to 3.5 years incarceration and $10,000 in fines.
Milwaukee alderman Nick Kovac feels that Wisconsin is “way behind the curve,” according to WBAY.