Maximum Marijuana Possession Penalties for Selected Amounts, by State, (2009)

State
Overall Rank
Rank for
1 ounce Penalties
1 ounce (1)
2 ounces
3 ounces
4 ounces
Alabama 19 3 1 year
($6,000)
1 year
($6,000)
1 year
($6,000)
1 year
($6,000)
Alaska 46 12 legal, no penalty 6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
Arizona 12 2 1.5 years
($150,000)
1.5 years
($150,000)
1.5 years
($150,000)
1.5 years
($150,000)
Arkansas 3 3 1 year
($1,000)
10 years
($25,000)
10 years
($25,000)
10 years
($25,000)
California 46 12 fine only
($100)
6 months
($500)
6 months
($500)
6 months
($500)
Colorado 41 12 fine only
($100)
1.5 years
($5,000)
1.5 years
($5,000)
1.5 years
($5,000)
Connecticut 19 3 1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
Delaware 34 4 6 months
($1150)
6 months
($1150)
6 months
($1150)
6 months
($1150)
District Of Columbia 34 4 6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
Florida 1 1 5 years
($5,000)
5 years
($5,000)
5 years
($5,000)
5 years
($5,000)
Georgia 4 12 probation
10 years
(variable)
10 years
(variable)
10 years
(variable)
Hawaii 42 9 30 days
($1,000)
1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
Idaho 14 3 1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
5 years
($10,000)
Illinois (2) 9 3 1 year
($2500)
3 years
($25,000)
3 years
($25,000)
3 years
($25,000)
Indiana 9 3 1 year
($5,000)
3 years
($10,000)
3 years
($10,000)
3 years
($10,000)
Iowa 34 4 6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
Kansas 19 3 1 year
($2500)
1 year
($2500)
1 year
($2500)
1 year
($2500)
Kentucky 19 3 1 year
($500)
1 year
($500)
1 year
($500)
1 year
($500)
Louisiana 34 4 6 months
($500)
6 months
($500)
6 months
($500)
6 months
($500)
Maine 45 12 fine only
($600)
1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
Maryland 19 3 1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
Massachusetts 46 12 fine only
($100)
6 months
($500)
6 months
($500)
6 months
($500)
Michigan 19 3 1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
Minnesota 13 12 fine only
($200)
5 years
($10,000)
5 years
($10,000)
5 years
($10,000)
Mississippi 29 12 fine only
($250)
3 years
($3,000)
3 years
($3,000)
3 years
($3,000)
Missouri 6 3 1 year
($1,000)
7 years
($5,000)
7 years
($5,000)
7 years
($5,000)
Montana 2 4 6 months
($500)
6 months
($500)
20 years
($50,000)
20 years
($50,000)
Nebraska (3) 50 11 7 days
($500)
7 days
($500)
7 days
($500)
7 days
($500)
Nevada 16 12 fine only
($600)
4 years
($5,000)
4 years
($5,000)
4 years
($5,000)
New Hampshire 19 3 1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
1 year
($2,000)
New Jersey 30 4 6 months
($1,000)
1.5 years
($25,000)
1.5 years
($25,000)
1.5 years
($25,000)
New Mexico 44 10 15 days
($100)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
New York (4) 40 7 3 months
($500)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
North Carolina 33 6 120 days
($500)
1 year
(Variable)
1 year
(Variable)
1 year
(Variable)
North Dakota 7 3 1 year
($2,000)
5 years
($5,000)
5 years
($5,000)
5 years
($5,000)
Ohio 51 12 fine only
($100)
fine only
($100)
fine only
($100)
30 days
($250)
Oklahoma 19 3 1 year
(Variable)
1 year
(Variable)
1 year
(Variable)
1 year
(Variable)
Oregon 4 12 fine only
($1,000)
10 years
($100,000)
10 years
($100,000)
10 years
($100,000)
Pennsylvania 42 9 30 days
($500)
1 year
($5,000)
1 year
($5,000)
1 year
($5,000)
Rhode Island 19 3 1 year
($500)
1 year
($500)
1 year
($500)
1 year
($500)
South Carolina 11 9 30 days
($200)
5 years
($5,000)
5 years
($5,000)
5 years
($5,000)
South Dakota 17 3 1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
2 years
($2,000)
2 years
($2,000)
Tennessee 19 3 1 year
($2500)
1 year
($2500)
1 year
($2500)
1 year
($2500)
Texas 32 5 180 days
($2,000)
180 days
($2,000)
1 year
($4,000)
1 year
($4,000)
Utah 31 4 6 months
($1,000)
1 year
($2500)
1 year
($2500)
1 year
($2500)
Vermont 18 4 6 months
($500)
6 months
($500)
3 years
($10,000)
3 years
($10,000)
Virginia 49 9 30 days
($500)
30 days
($500)
30 days
($500)
30 days
($500)
Washington 8 8 90 days
($500)
5 years
($10,000)
5 years
($10,000)
5 years
($10,000)
West Virginia (5) 34 4 6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
Wisconsin 34 4 6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
6 months
($1,000)
Wyoming 14 3 1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
1 year
($1,000)
5 years
($10,000)

 

Return to United States Index

Notes:

(1) To simplify comparisons, for some states this category covers amounts just under 1 ounce

(2) 2.5 grams or less carries a penalty of up to 30 days and a maximum fine of $1,500; 2.5 grams to 10 grams carries a penalty of up to 6 months and a maximum fine of $1,500.

(3) less than 1 ounce carries a fine of $300 and no jail time

(4) 25 grams or less is a fine of $100 with no jail time

(5) possession of less than 15 grams provides for a conditional discharge and a fine of up to $1,500

Rankings are based on the severity of punishment and were calculated based on the maximum number of days allowed by state law for the listed quantities of marijuana. The overall ranking is based on a weighted index for the four quantity levels. The weighting used in this index was: 70% for penalties for 1 ounce and 10% each for the penalties for 2, 3, and 4 ounces.

Sources

ImpacTeen Illicit Drug Team. Illicit drug policies: Selected laws from the 50 states. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University, 2002. http://www.impacteen.org/generalarea_PDFs/IDTchartbook032103.pdf

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). State by State Laws. http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4516

Selected State Criminal Codes

More Information on Source Data

 
 
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