What is the Jail Time for Drug Possession by State?

What is the Jail Time for Drug Possession by State?

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Consumption of certain drugs is deemed illegal and can result in jail time that varies according to the substance consumed. Those convicted for possessing drugs, face a wide range of penalties.

Here is everything we know about how much jail time one can get for drug possession in all 50 states. 

jail period for drug profession

Table Of Content

What is the Jail Time for Drug Possession?

Though all the states in the US control and regulate drug possession for personal use, penalties differ. Here’s a list of different jail time according to different states.

Drug Possession Jail time by State

Alaska: 

For Alaska marijuana, cocaine and heroin are considered as controlled dangerous substances (CDS). Even the compounds utilized in manufacturing these drugs are also controlled substances for them. They are divided into six groups or “schedules” according to level of harm they cause to the user. 

In this state CDS possession crime is classified into five degrees:

Misconduct in,

First degree – most serious

3rd & 4th degree – felonies.

Again these are subdivided as unclassified, Class A, B & C.

Unclassified & Class A crimes receive the harshest punishment. 

Class B felony: imprisonment up to 10 years.

Class C felony: imprisonment for up to 5 years.

Misdemeanor possession – less jail time; Class A – up to one-year jail; Class B misdemeanor possession – up to 90 days jail.

Repeated crimes or offenders: second time

Class B – 4 to 7 years; Class C – 2 to 5 years

Repeated crimes or offenders: third time

Class B – 6 to 10 years; Class C – 3 to 5 years

Alabama:

Alabama divides the CDS into 5 “schedules”. Schedule 1 includes Marijuana, Schedule II include cocaine, opium, Schedule III includes amphetamines and lysergic acid, Schedule IV includes those compounds that depress the central nervous system, Schedule V include codeine and other substances.

In Alabama possession of any amount of any CDS other than specified in Schedule V is a Class D felony. 

  • personal use only– minimum 1year to maximum 5 years jail time.
  • other than personal use – minimum one year & 1day and maximum 10 years.

Arizona:

Most dangerous drugs – 1 year for first time offender and up to 3.75 years for repeaters

Cocaine – 1year for first timer and 15 years for repetition

Marijuana – 1 year without prior offense and 3.75 years for repetition 

Arkansas:

Drug possession in Arkansas has a range of punishments that includes jail time. The state divides these crimes into different classes with the most severe penalty in Class A to least severe in Class D

Class D felony – up to 6years

Class C felony – minimum 3 to 10 years

Class B felony –minimum 5 to 20 years

Class felony A – minimum 6 to 30 years

The CDS are divided into six Schedules for these purpose

Schedule I & II drugs

Cocaine – less than 2g Class D felony – 

2 g or more but less than 10g – Class C felony –

10g or more but less than 200g Class B felony – 

Other than cocaine 

less than 2g Class D felony

2 g or more but less than 28g – Class C felony –

28g or more but less than 100g Class B felony – 

Schedule III drugs

Less than 2g – Class A misdemeanor

2g or more but less 28g – Class D felony

28g or more but less than 200g – Class C

200g or more less than 400g – Class B felony

Schedule IV or V drugs

Less than 28g – Class A misdemeanor

28g or more but less than 200g – Class D

200g or more less than 400g – Class C felony

400g or more but less than 800g – Class B

Schedule VI drugs

Less than 4 ounces for first time offender – Class A misdemeanor – 1year or less than 1year 

1 to less than 4oz for repeated crime – up to 6years

4oz or more but less than 10lbs – Class D felony – up to 6years

10lbs or more but less than 25lbs – Class C felony – minimum 3 to 10 years

25lbs or more but less than 100lbs – Class B felony –minimum 5 to 20 years

100lbs or more but less than 500lbs – Class felony A – minimum 6 to 30 years

California:

Here CDS are classified into 5 schedules and the punishment incudes a jail time of up to 1 year. These do not include marijuana

Schedule I includes opium, cocaine or synthetic cannabis

Schedule II includes narcotics

Schedule III includes Hallucinogens

Schedule IV or V narcotics without a prescription

Marijuana possession jail time:

In California an adult of 21 year or older can possess a specified amount of marijuana. However, punishment for marijuana possession depends upon the age of the offender, amount of the drug and location of possession. It varies from infraction to misdemeanor or felony. Infraction is least serious and there is no jail time for it and misdemeanor may go up to 1-year jail time.

Colorado:

In Colorado drug possession punishment depends upon the type and amount of CDS involved. It varies from petty offenses, misdemeanors & felonies from least serious to most serious crimes.

Possession of 1oz or less of CDS has no punishment. Whereas, 1 to 2oz possession is considered as petty offense which has a penalty of $100. 

Misdemeanors are classified into either Class 1 or Class 2

2 to 6oz – up to 12 months of jail time

6 to 12oz – 6 to 18 months

More than 12oz – 1 to 2 years

Connecticut:

First time possession of less than half ounce of marijuana does not carry jail time, will be penalized with $150. For second time and further the penalty varies between $200 to $500. For possession of more than half ounce up to 1 year of jail time may be imposed.

Delaware:

There is no jail time for up to 1oz of possession of CDS but penalty of $100 fine. 

Following are the jail time for more than 10z

More than 1oz but less than 175g - 3 months – Class B misdemeanor

More than 175g but less than 1500g - 3 years – Class F felony

More than 1500g but less than 3000g – 5 years - Class E felony

More than 3000g but less than 4000g – 8 years - Class D felony

More than 4000g but less than 5000g – 15 years - Class C felony

More than 5000g – minimum 2 to 25 years - Class B felony

Florida:

For up to 20g – misdemeanor penalty with a maximum of 1-year jail time

More than 20g but less than 25lbs - 5 years 

More than 25lbs but less than 2000lbs – 3 years minimum to 15 years 

More than 2000lbs but less than 10000g – 7 years minimum to 30 years 

More than 10000lbs but less than 5000g – 15 years minimum to 30 years 

More than 5000g – 2 years minimum to 25 years 

Georgia:

In Georgia possession of 1oz or less than that for personal use is considered as misdemeanor and carries 1year jail time. More than 3g but less than 1oz for personal use is a felony and carries 1-year minimum to 10 years jail time.

Possession of CDS with an intension to distribute carries following jail time: 

Less than 10lbs to 10lbs – 1 years minimum to 10 years 

More than 10lbs but less than 2000lbs – 5 years minimum to 30 years 

More than 2000lbs but less than 10000lbs – 7 years minimum to 30 years 

More than 10000lbs – 15 years minimum to 30 years 

In addition, possession of CDS within a distance of 1,000feet from school, residential area or a park carries a minimum of 5 years to 40 years imprisonment. 

Hawaii:

In Hawaii up to 3g possession of CDS for personal use only, is considered as just violation of law and does not carry jail time. More than 1oz for personal use is a misdemeanor and carries 30 days of jail time. 

1oz to 10lbs is again a misdemeanor that carries 1-year jail time and more than 1lbs is a felony carrying 5 years imprisonment

Possession of CDS with an intension to distribute carries following jail time: 

1 to 2lbs is a felony – 5-years jail  

More than 2lbs but less than 25lbs is a felony– 10-years jail 

25lbs to more than that – 20-years jail 

More than 10000lbs – 15 years minimum to 30 years 

In addition, possession of CDS within a distance of 750feet from school, residential area or a park carries a minimum of 5-years imprisonment. This also includes a distance of 10feet from parked school vehicle.

Idaho:

In Idaho possession of 3oz or less than that for personal use is considered as misdemeanor and carries 1year jail time. More than 3oz but less than lbsz for personal use is a felony and carries 5-years jail time.

Possession of CDS with an intension to distribute carries following jail time: 

1lbs to less than 5lbs is a felony – 1 years 

5lbs to less than 25lbs is a felony – 3 years minimum 

25lbs or more – 5 years minimum 

In addition, possession of CDS in a person aged below 18 years is a felony and that carries 5 years jail

Illinois:

In Illinois the state resident can possess up to 30g and a a non-resident who is from other state can possess up to 15g only. 

First time possession from 30 to 100g is a misdemeanor and subsequent time violation is a felony – carries 1 to 3 years jail time

More than 100 to less than 500g is a felony – carries 1 to 3 years jail time

More than 500 to less than 2000g is a felony – carries 2 to 5 years jail time

More than 2000 to less than 5000g is a felony – carries 3 to 7 years jail time

More than 5000g is a felony – carries 4 to15 years jail time

Indiana:

In Indiana possession of CBD products that contain less than 0.3% THC is not considered a crime and is exempted and for other substances for first time offender conditional penalty will be charged.

Any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor and carries 180 days of jail. 

Second time possession or subsequent offense, 

  • with less than 30g is a felony – 1year prison
  • with 30g or more is a felony – 6 months to 2 and a half years prison

Iowa:

Iowa considers possession of any amount of marijuana as a misdemeanor.

First time offender -  6 months jail. 

Second time offender – 1 year jail

Third time offender – 2 years jail; 

Chronic users may be sent to rehabilitation centers

Kansas:

In Kansas possession of CBD products with 0% THC is exempted from punishment because it is not considered as a crime.

Here any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor carries 6months jail for first time offender. Second time or subsequent possession is considered as intention to distribute and if possession is more than 450g it is considered as severe felony and punishment ranges from 10months probation (community service) to 42 months prison depending on severity level of drug.

Kentucky:

For Kentucky possession of 8oz and more than that of marijuana is severe crime and it is considered as an intention to distribute. But possession of less than 8oz is a misdemeanor and fetches maximum 45days of imprisonment.  

Louisiana:

In Louisiana, possession of 14g or less than 14g of marijuana, as a first time offense fetches about 15 days imprisonment. Sometimes they are also considered for probation. 

More than 14g and less than 2.5lbs of possession as a first offense fetches 6months jail. Subsequent offense fetches 6months to 8 years imprisonment depending upon the level of repetition.

2.5lbs to less than 60lbs fetches 2 years minimum to 10 years jail.

60 to less than 2000lbs fetches 5years minimum to 30 years jail

 2000 to less than 10, 000lbs fetches 10years minimum to 40 years jail

10,000 to more than 10,000 fetches 25years minimum to 40 years.

Maine:

In Maine an adult can possess up to 2.5oz or less of CDS. However, any amount of possession more than 2.5oz is considered as crime. Also the possession of specific amount with a proof of doctor’s prescription is not punishable.

More than 2.5oz to 8oz carries 6months jail time. 

More than 8oz to 1lbs fetches 1years jail time

More than 1lbs to 20lbs fetches 5years jail time

More than 20lbs fetches 10years imprisonment

Maryland:

In Maryland less than 10g of marijuana possession comes under simple civil offense and it is penalized with $100 to $500 fine depending upon number of repetitive offenses.  

10g to less than 50lbs possession for personal use is a misdemeanor and carries 1-year jail

50lbs to more than that for personal use fetches a minimum of 5years imprisonment.

Possession of CDS with an intension to sell considered as a felony and fetches severe penalty of following category:

Less than 50lbs carries up to 5years jail

50lbs or more is eligible for a minimum of 5years jail

Within a school vehicle or at a distance of 1000feet from school premises fetches 20years of imprisonment.

Massachusetts:

In Massachusetts possession of up to 1oz of marijuana by an adult, for personal use is not considered a crime.

More than 10z as a first time offense fetches 6months jail and subsequently up to 2years jail time.

Possession with an intension of selling fetches a range of jail time penalty:

Less than 50lbs as a first time offense carries up to 2years penalty and for subsequent offenses jail time varies from 1 to 2years.

50 to less than 100lbs fetches a minimum of 1year to 15 years imprisonment.

100 to less than 2000lbs fetches 2years minimum to 15yearsjail time

2000 to less than 10,000lbs fetches 3.5years minimum to 15 years jail time

10,000lbs or more than that fetches 8years minimum to 15years jail time.

Michigan:

In Michigan Marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance and an adult can possess 2.5oz of marijuana for personal use. At home 10oz of it can be possessed by an adult and it will not be penalized.

A person possessing more than above said amount is also not entitled for imprisonment unless he/she is involved in violence.

Possession of marijuana within 1000 feet of a park or school is considered a misdemeanor or felony and can fetch a maximum of 2years imprisonment.

Minnesota:

In Minnesota Marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance and possession of 42.4g or less of it considered as misdemeanor and is not entitled for imprisonment. More than 42.5g is a felony and fetches a range of duration of jail time.

More than 42.5g but less than 10kg fetches 5years of imprisonment

10 to less than 50kg fetches 20years imprisonment.

50 to less than 100kg fetches 25years imprisonment

100kg or more than that fetches 30years imprisonment

More than 1.4g inside one’s vehicle fetches a maximum of 90days jail time

Mississippi:

In Mississippi possession up to 30g as first time offense does not carry any jail time. But subsequent repetition of offense is entitled for a jail time ranging from 5days minimum to 6months. They are considered as misdemeanor. But possession of more than 30g of CDS is a felony in this state.

30 to less than 250g fetches 1 to 3 years of prison.

250 to less than 500g fetches 2years minimum to 8years imprisonment.

500g to less than 1kg fetches 4years minimum to 16years imprisonment

1 to less than 5kg fetches 6years minimum to 24years imprisonment.

5kg or more than that fetches 10years minimum to 30years imprisonment

More than 30g inside one’s vehicle fetches a maximum of 90days jail time

Missouri:

In Missouri possession of CDS up to 10g as first time offense is considered a misdemeanor and does not carry any jail time. But second time of offense is entitled for 1- year jail time. 

More than 10g up to 35g fetches 1year imprisonment though it is considered a misdemeanor.

More than 35g up to 30kg is a felony in this state and is entitled for 7years imprisonment. Because it is considered as an intension of distribution.

Montana:

In Montana an adult can possess up to 1oz of marijuana and more than 1oz but less than 2oz of marijuana is a punishable offense with a fine or 4 hours of community service. But more than 2oz possession is a felony that can fetch up to 5years of imprisonment. However, possession of more than 2oz with an intension of distribution fetches 20years of imprisonment.

Nebraska:

In Nebraska marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance. It considers possession of 1oz or less of marijuana as violation of law or infraction, as first time offense and will be penalized with a fine. For second time possession it is considered as misdemeanor and it carries 5days of prison and for subsequent time it fetches 7 days of prison time.

More than 10z but up to 1lbs is entitled for 3months imprisonment.

More than 1lbs is a felony in this state and fetches 5years imprisonment.

Nevada:

In Nevada marijuana is a Schedule 1 hallucinogenic substance. An adult can legally possess or grow marijuana for personal use legally. Public use of it is considered a criminal misdemeanor and subject to penalties in the form of fine.

New Hampshire:

In New Hampshire person possessing up to 3/4oz of marijuana and guilty of violation will be penalized with a fine. But possession of more than 3/4oz is considered a misdemeanor and fetches a maximum of 1-year imprisonment. 

But the possession of marijuana with an intention to sell is considered a felony and punishment varies.

Less than 1oz fetches 3years prison.

1oz to less than 5lbs is a felony and fetches 7years imprisonment

5lbs or more than that fetches 20 years imprisonment.

New Jersey

New Jersey:

In New Jersey possession of marijuana by an adult is legal for up to 6oz, but more than 6oz of possession is a crime that fetches 1 and half years of imprisonment. Additionally, if it is caught within 1000 feet from a school 100 of hours of community service will be added as punishment.

New Mexico

New Mexico:

In New Jersey possession of up to half ounce of marijuana does not call for imprisonment. It is punishable offense with a certain amount of fine. But more than half ounce and up to 8 ounce is a misdemeanor punishable with range of jail time.

More than ½ ounce but up to 1ounce for first time offender fetches 15days of prison and for second time offender 1year jail time.

More than 1oz up to 8oz fetches 1 year of imprisonment.

More than 8oz is a felony that carries 1 and a half year of imprisonment.

New York:

In New York possession of marijuana up to 2oz considered as infraction or violation, punishable with fine. 

More than 2oz and up to 8oz possession fetches 1 year imprisonment.

More than 8oz but up to 1lbs is a felony that fetches 4years of prison time.

More than 1lbs but up to 10lbs fetches 7years imprisonment

More than 10lbs is entitled for 15years imprisonment.

North Carolina:

In North Carolina marijuana is Schedule VI substance. Half ounce to less than 1/2oz possession, for personal use, is a misdemeanor, punishable with fine.

½ to 1½oz is misdemeanor that carries 1 to 45days of prison time.

More than 1½oz to 10lbs is a felony that fetches 3 to 8months imprisonment.

Possession with the intension of distribution is felony that fetches different periods of imprisonment:

More than 10lbs but less than 50lbs fetches 25months minimum to 39 months of prison time.

50lbs to less than 2000lbs fetches 35months minimum to 51 months of imprisonment.

2000lbs to less than 10,000lbs fetches 70months minimum to 93months prison time.

10,000lbs or more than that fetches 175months minimum to 222months of imprisonment.

North Dakota:

North Dakota considers possession of half ounce or less than half ounce of marijuana as criminal violation or infraction and punishes with certain amount of fine. But if the offender is convicted of same infraction twice or more within the same calendar year may penalized with 30 days of imprisonment.

More than half ounce and up to 500g carries 30days of prison time.

More than 500g carries a maximum of 1year imprisonment.

Ohio:

In Ohio, possession of less than 100g of CDS is punishable with fine, it does not call for jail time.

100 to less than 200g is a misdemeanor that carries 30days of prison.

200 to less than 1000g is a felony that fetches 1year imprisonment.

1000 to 20,000g fetches 1year to 5years imprisonment.

20,000 t0 40,000g fetches 5years minimum to 8years imprisonment

More than 40,000g fetches minimum of 8years imprisonment.

Oklahoma:

Oklahoma considers marijuana as Schedule 1 CDS. Therefore, any amount of marijuana possession is considered a misdemeanor that carries up to 1 year of imprisonment. Possession of the same within 1000 feet from school or park is a felony and it fetches double the time of imprisonment.

Oregon:

In Oregon possession of up to 2oz of marijuana does not call for imprisonment, it is punishable with fine. 1 or less than 1oz is not a punishable crime.

More than 2oz but up to 4oz is a misdemeanor and fetches 6months of imprisonment.

More than 4oz fetches 1year prison time.

If marijuana is homegrown then up to 8oz is not punishable for possession at home.

But more than 1lbs and up to 2lbs carries 6months prison time and more than 2lbs carries 1year imprisonment.

Pennsylvania:

In Pennsylvania marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled drug

Therefore, possession of up to 30g of marijuana is a misdemeanor and punished with 30 days of jail.

More than 30g calls for 1year imprisonment for first time offense and subsequent number of offense fetches 18 to 36months of imprisonment.

Rhode Island:

In Rhode Island, less than 1 ounce of marijuana possession for personal use is punished with fine only.

1ounce up to1kg possession is a misdemeanor that carries 1year prison time.

However, possession of marijuana with the intension of distribution is a felony and carries jail time punishment.

1 to 5kg possession carries 10years minimum to 50years maximum jail time.

More than 5kg fetches 25years minimum to life time imprisonment.

South Carolina:

In South Carolina, possession of 1oz or less of CDS as a first offense carries 30 days of jail time and for subsequent times of offense fetches maximum of 1year jail time.

South Dakota:

In South Dakota, possession of 1oz or less of marijuana is legal and not penalized.

2oz or less than it is a misdemeanor and carries 1year jail time.

More than 2oz up to ½ lb is a felony and carries 2years jail time

More than ½ lb to 1lb fetches 5years jail time

More than 1lb to 10lbs fetches 10years jail time

More than 10lbs fetches 15years jail time.

Tennessee:

For Tennessee, marijuana is a Schedule VI CDS. 

In this state, possession of half ounce or less of it is a punishable misdemeanor and it carries a maximum of 1year jail time.

Texas:

Cocaine possession below 1g – 6months to 2 years and/or 10,000USD fine. For first time crime probation (community supervision) without jail time

1 to 4 g – 2 to 10 years in state jail

4-200g – 2 to 20 years of jail time

200-400g – 5 to 99 years of jail time

More than 400g – 10 to 99 years of jail time

Possession of marijuana

Under 2ounce is a Class B crime – 180 days in country jail

2 to 4 ounces – 1-year jail time

More than 4 ounces up to 5pounds - 180 days to 2years jail time

5 to 50 pounds – 2 to 10 years jail time

50 to 2000 pounds – 2 to 20 years jail time

More than 2,000 pounds – 5 to 99 years jail time

Utah:

In Utah, possession of up to 1 pond of CDS is a misdemeanor

Less than 1oz of CDS carries 6months jail time and 1oz to 1lb of CDS fetches 1year of jail time.

More than 1lb and up to 100lbs is a felony which carries 5years of jail time.

More than 100lbs carries 1year minimum to 15 years imprisonment. 

Vermont:

In Vermont, possession of up to ounce of marijuana is legal and not punishable.

More than 1oz and up to 2oz as a first offense carries 6months prison time and subsequent time offense carries 2years jail time.

More than 2oz and up to 1lb is a felony and fetches 3years imprisonment

More than 1lb and up to 10lbs fetches 5years imprisonment.

More than 10lbs fetches 15years jail time.

Virginia:

In Virginia, possession of marijuana is legal and not penalized.

Washington:

In Washington, possession of 1oz or less of marijuana does not call for imprisonment, in public it is considered as civil violation and subjectable to fine.

More than 1oz and up to 40g possession is a misdemeanor and fetches a minimum of 24 hours to maximum 90 days of jail time.

More than 40g possession is a felony and carries 5years jail time.

West Virginia:

In West Virginia, any amount of marijuana possession is a misdemeanor and punishment is minimum 90days to maximum 6months.

Wisconsin:

In Wisconsin, marijuana is a Schedule 1 hallucinogenic drug. Therefore, any amount of its possession is a misdemeanor for first time offender that carries 6months jail time and for second or subsequent offender it is a felony which carries 3-and-a-half-year jail time.

Wyoming:

In Wyoming, using or being under the influence of marijuana is a misdemeanor and fetches 6months of jail time.

Possession of 3oz or less than that is also a misdemeanor and carries 12months jail time.

More than 3oz possession is a felony and carries 5years jail time.



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