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bountiful criminal defense lawyerMarijuana use is common throughout the United States, and this drug is generally considered to be less harmful than many other types of controlled substances. In fact, marijuana has been found to have multiple types of benefits for certain people, and it may be used to treat a number of medical conditions. Several states have taken action to relax their laws surrounding the possession, use, and sale of marijuana, and some have legalized marijuana for both recreational and medical use. Unfortunately, those who are unaware of how the laws may vary from state to state may face criminal consequences for the possession of this drug. By understanding the laws surrounding marijuana in Utah, residents can be sure they will be able to address potential drug charges correctly.

Criminal Charges for Marijuana Possession in Utah

While recreational marijuana has been legalized in several nearby states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, California, and Oregon, it remains illegal in Utah. However, Utah does allow for the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes. People with qualifying medical conditions, including cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and post-traumatic stress disorder, may apply for a medical cannabis card. Those who are approved to use medical marijuana may possess up to 113 grams of unprocessed marijuana or up to 20 grams of THC.

Outside of medical use, the possession and distribution of marijuana are illegal in Utah. Marijuana is considered to be a Schedule I controlled substance. In most cases, possession of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor for a first or second offense, and a person may face a prison sentence of up to 364 days and/or a $2,500 fine. A third conviction within seven years is a third degree felony, and a person may face a prison sentence of up to five years and/or a $5,000 fine. Possession of 100 pounds of marijuana or more is a second degree felony, which may result in between one and 15 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

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