Virginia is now the 16th state to fully legalize recreational marijuana use. The new law took effect on July 1, 2021. State residents can now legally possess or grow small amounts of marijuana. Tennessee is unlikely to legalize marijuana anytime soon.
Proposals in Tennessee’s General Assembly to decriminalize marijuana have been met with minimal support. Local authorities want citizens to know how the new law could complicate legal matters in bordering states such as Tennessee. While the law in Virginia says you can use marijuana, it is still illegal in Tennessee. In Tennessee, a possession of up to a half-ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum jail term of one year, and a maximum fine of $2500. A $250 fine is mandatory for all first-time convictions, with mandatory minimum fines of $500 for subsequent offenses.
Darcee L. Kubisiak, a Criminal Defense Attorney at our firm, was recently interviewed by the local news station. She was able to provide legal insight into the matter. She states,
“If you’re caught with any amount of marijuana up to a half ounce in Tennessee, you could be charged with simple possession of marijuana, an A misdemeanor punishable up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. Generally, that does not happen. Generally, it’s 11 months and 29 days of supervised probation with a pretty significant fine and court costs. If you’re caught with more than a half ounce, you could face a felony charge.”
Remember, Tennessee does not allow for the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. While the drug is legal in VA, TN law still prohibits use across the state line.
If you have been arrested for marijuana possession in Tennessee, give us a call at (423) 434-4700 today to discuss your future and how we can help you navigate the legal system.