Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana in Mississippi
Marijuana is a “controlled substance” in Mississippi, which means it is illegal to “sell, barter, transfer, manufacture, distribute, dispense or possess with intent to sell, barter, transfer, manufacture, distribute or dispense” any amount of marijuana in Mississippi. Although for the past three years a bill has been introduced in the Mississippi Legislature that would authorize doctor-recommended medical use of marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions, this bill has not been making it out of the Drug Policy Committee each year, and so the possession of any amount of marijuana in Mississippi remains illegal, no matter what it is for.
As I have explained on my other website, the elements of Mississippi’s drug crimes, and the punishment you receive for breaking the law, can be broken down and classified according to:
- which controlled substance
- how much of it
- what you were doing with it
Possession of marijuana in the amount of 30 grams (1.05821 ounce) or less is a misdemeanor under Section 41-29-139(c)(2)(A) of the Mississippi Code Annotated. Penalties are as follows:
- First Offense: a fine of between $100.00 and $250.00, plus court costs
- Second Offense (within two years): a fine of $250.00, plus court costs, not less than five, nor more than 60 days in jail, and mandatory participation in a drug education program
- Third Offense (within two years): a fine of between $100.00 and $250.00, plus court costs, and not less than five, nor more than 60 days in jail.
Penalties are Enhanced if You are in a Vehicle
Section 41-29-139(c)(2)(A) enhances the penalties if you are the “operator” of a motor vehicle, and you “possess on [your] person or knowingly keep or allows to be kept in a motor vehicle within the area of the vehicle normally occupied by the driver or passengers” between one and thirty grams of marijuana. By statute, the trunk of the vehicle doesn’t count, but the utitlity or glove box does. If you are convicted of possessing this amount of marijuana in a vehicle it is still a misdemeanor, but the penalties are increased to a fine of not more than $1000.00 plus court costs and not more than 90 days in jail.
And your Driver’s License will be Suspended
Conviction under any of these statutes (not just the one having to do with a vehicle) will cause your license to be suspended for a period of six months. I have a detailed post concerning that here: Suspension of Driver’s License for Drug Crimes in Mississippi.
Mind you, the crimes I have described about only concern amounts of 30 grams (one ounce) of marijuana or less. Amounts more than 30 grams subject you to felony-level penalties, and could possibly lead to “possession with intent” charges.
Defenses to Possession
Your lawyer will need to look into things such as:
- Was it yours?
- Was it marijuana?
- Did you know it was there?
- Did law enforcement have probable cause to stop you, search you, arrest you?
I have an extensive section of my main website dealing with marijuana crimes in Mississippi. If you are arrested for possession of marijuana in Mississippi and need the help of an experienced attorney give us a call. We are here to help.