While views on marijuana use have changed across the country, the federal government has not relaxed its stance on the drug. While many states have chosen to decriminalize marijuana use and possession, the sale of marijuana is often treated harshly no matter where you are. The same is true in federal court. Utah residents may wonder what penalties they could face if accused of trafficking marijuana in federal court.
Like in most drug trafficking cases, you can face serious penalties for being convicted of trafficking marijuana in federal courts. The specific penalties will depend on the amount of the drug that you are found with. Furthermore, it can depend on whether if people were placed in bodily harm, whether you are charges as an individual or part of a larger entity and whether this is your first offense.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, as an individual, if you are accused of having between one and 49 plants or less than 50 kilograms of marijuana, then you can face a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison for your first offense. The penalties increase to up to 10 years in prison and a half-million dollar fine for a second offense. For between 50 and 99 plants or kilograms, you can face up to two decades in prison and a $1 million fine. People accused of having between 100 and 999 plants or kilograms can be sentenced to between five and 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. More than 1,000 plants or kilograms will result in a prison sentence between 10 years and life and a $10 million fine.
The specific penalties that a person faces depends on a variety of factors, therefore, this post cannot provide specific legal advice. A legal professional can provide more insight about a person’s legal options and the potential consequences when charged with drug trafficking in federal or state court.