There are a lot of opinions out there regarding the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. While a few states in our nation have laws permitting the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, Utah has yet to make that leap. Therefore, possessing and selling marijuana in Utah is still mostly illegal. There is one exception: in Utah, if a person has certain epileptic disorders, he or she is permitted to use cannabidiol medicinally. However, most people do not fall under that exception, meaning they could be charged or even convicted for drug crimes involving marijuana. What are the penalties for the possession and sale of marijuana in Utah?
Marijuana possession can range from a Class B misdemeanor for possessing under one ounce, to a second-degree felony for possessing over 100 pounds. If a person has been convicted of possessing marijuana and then is convicted of it again, the penalty will be one degree greater than the first.
The sale of marijuana in Utah is a third-degree felony. If a person has been convicted of selling marijuana and then is convicted of it again, it is a second-degree felony. Moreover, if the buyer is a minor, or if the sale takes place within 1000 feet of a school, the penalty will be one degree greater, with a mandatory minimum five-year sentence if it is a first-degree felony.
While marijuana use may seem like no big deal, and may even have some medicinal benefits, the fact of the matter is that the possession or sale of marijuana is against the law in Utah. That being said, laws can always be changed, so it remains to be seen if Utah legalizes marijuana for recreational or further medicinal use in the future. Until then, residents should be aware of their legal rights if they are charged with a drug crime.
Source: FindLaw, “Utah Marijuana Laws,” accessed Sept. 19, 2016