Recreational use of marijuana is legal in nine states and medical marijuana is legal in 30 states, yet an FBI report released in September states that marijuana arrests are rising nationwide.
To be clear, marijuana is not legal in Kentucky for recreational or medical purposes. If you are arrested with less than 8 ounces of marijuana, you face fines and jail time. If you are arrested with more than 8 ounces in Kentucky, you may face trafficking charges, which comes with more severe penalties.
Possession is not overlooked
With marijuana use now legal in nine states, many residents of Kentucky or visitors to the state may feel that possession laws are not enforced. That’s wrong thinking. The FBI report states the nationwide increase in arrests involving marijuana – almost 6,500 more arrests in 2017 from 2016 – are mostly for possession. In fact, arrests for sales and manufacturing dropped in 2017.
Overall, marijuana arrests accounted for just over 40 percent of the nation’s 1.6 million drug arrests in 2017.
Understand the severity of a marijuana arrest
A conviction on any drug charge – even simple possession of marijuana – can derail a person’s career, educational goals or personal life. If you are arrested for possession of marijuana or face any drug charges, it is important to recognize the severity of the situation, and work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to minimize the impact of the charge.