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Possession & Distribution of Medical Marijuana in Virginia

MedMarijuana2

In most situations, it is illegal to possess or distribute marijuana in Virginia. As with other illegal drugs classified as controlled substances, there are severe criminal penalties for possession and distribution of marijuana. On the other hand, it is possible for certain people to possess and use marijuana for medical purposes. Accordingly, it is also possible for certain medical professionals to distribute marijuana for those same purposes.

Possession of Medical Marijuana in Virginia

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-251.1 governs the possession of medical marijuana under state law. Under limited circumstances, it is lawful to possess marijuana for legitimate medical use.

In order to qualify as legitimate medical use under Section 18.2-251.1, the following factors are required:

  • A licensed doctor must issue a valid prescription for marijuana; and
  • The patient must suffer from cancer or glaucoma.

Outside of the medical context, possession of marijuana is a crime under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-250.1. If a person knowingly and intentionally possesses marijuana without a valid prescription, it is a criminal offense under this section.

In terms of penalties, any person who violates Section 18.2-250.1 is guilty of a misdemeanor offense. The penalty structure for a single offense includes a maximum of 30 days in jail and $500 in criminal fines. Though the penalties can increase for repeat offenders.

Distribution of Medical Marijuana in Virginia

Section 18.2-251.1 also dictates the distribution of medical marijuana under state law. Under this section, medical doctors and pharmacists are allowed to distribute or dispense medical marijuana in specific situations.

For medical doctors, they are allowed to distribute or dispense marijuana for medical use if it occurs:

  • Within the context of professional medical practice; and
  • For the medical treatment of cancer or glaucoma.

For pharmacists, they are allowed to distribute or dispense marijuana for medical use if it occurs:

  • Pursuant to a valid prescription from a medical doctor; and
  • For the medical treatment of cancer or glaucoma.

Outside of the medical context, distribution of marijuana is a crime under Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248. It is unlawful to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute or otherwise transfer possession.

In terms of penalties for the unlawful distribution of marijuana, Code of Virginia Section 18.2-248.1 provides a tiered system that changes based on amount. In precise terms, unlawful marijuana distribution of:

  • Up to 1/2 ounce — Constitutes a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines;
  • Between 1/2 ounce and 5 pounds — Constitutes a Class 5 felony and is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and $2,500 in fines; and
  • More than 5 pounds — Constitutes a felony crime and is punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Let Us Help You Today

If you need legal help with criminal charges for possession or distribution of marijuana in Virginia, it is wise to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP, servicing Leesburg, Winchester, Fairfax, and Manassas, have many years of combined legal experience in criminal defense, including possession and distribution of marijuana. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

https://www.simmsshowerslaw.com/virginia-man-faces-charges-for-drug-crimes-weapon-offense/

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Contact the Leesburg, Winchester & Loudoun County Attorneys of Simms Showers LLP today

Simms Showers LLP is conveniently located two blocks from the Loudoun County Courthouse. Our criminal defense firm offers a free phone consultation for criminal or personal injury cases. Se habla español. Call Simms Showers LLP for quality legal counsel today at 703-997-7821 or contact us online.

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