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Perhaps inspired by the TV show 'Justified' or perhaps just trying to redefine Kentucky bluegrass, marijuana possession arrests seem like they're rising in Louisville. Just last month, a SWAT team found almost 60 plants in one house on Vim Drive in South Louisville. While the state does allow some research and cultivations of industrial or agricultural hemp, possession of its close relative for recreational use or distribution is strictly prohibited.
So what do marijuana possession charges look like in Louisville? And what potential penalties could you face if convicted?
Although marijuana has been described as the Bluegrass State's number one cash crop, it's still not legal to possess. Kentucky's marijuana laws prohibit any possession of marijuana, no matter how small the amount. (A law was passed in April of 2014 allowing patients access to cannabidiol or "CBD," a non-psychoactive element of marijuana, but applies in limited medicinal cases only.)
Possession of less than eight ounces of marijuana or less than five plants (on the first offense only) are normally charged as misdemeanors, as is possession of marijuana paraphernalia. Possession of any more than those amounts is considered prima facie evidence of intent to sell or transfer it, and can therefore be charged as a felony. And the possession of hash or marijuana concentrates is the treated the same as marijuana possession.
Possession of up to eight ounces of marijuana constitutes a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 45 days in jail and $250 in fines, while possession of paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor which can get you a year in prison and a maximum fine of $500. Second, third, or fourth offenses, as well as possession of more than 8 ounces, can push you charges up into the felony range.
Possession of eight ounces to five pounds of marijuana is a Class D felony, which could mean anywhere from one to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000; any more than that is a Class C felony and you're looking at five to ten years in prison.
Marijuana possession charges are no joke, especially in Louisville. If you've been popped for pot in The 'Ville, talk to an experienced drug crime attorney today.