Marijuana Possession

Possession of  less than 100 pounds of marijuana in the State of Utah is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. It used to be  a third degree felony punishable by  0 to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The legislature changed the law a several years ago.

Possession of more than 100 pounds is a second degree felony punishable by 1 to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Possession of any amount of marijuana with an intent to distribute it is a third degree felony.


Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney

Possession of a large amount of marijuana under Utah Case Law can lead to an inference or understanding by the trier of fact (Judge or Jury) that the person possessed the pot with an intent to distribute it. So how does that reconcile with the change in the law that under 100 pounds of pot was a class B misdemeanor and not a felony. If it’s presumed that 99 pounds of marijuana is distribution of pot that makes the change in the law meaningless.

The law for possession of less than 100 pounds of marijuana is ambiguous at the present time. Ninety-nine pounds of pot is more than a person typically possesses for personal use but the law states it is simple possession and not distribution. A person with a large amount of pot but less than 100 pounds is unclear on what law he or she has broken. That being so, due process should dictate that the accused receive the benefit of the doubt and be charged with the less severe charge, the class  B misdemeanor.

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