In a recent internet poll done by CNN, 80% of all respondents favored the legalization of marijuana. Unfortunately, the lawmakers don’t seem to be listening to the public on this issue. In Tennessee, depending on the weight of marijuana you are charged with, the penalties can be quite stiff. The penalties are different based on whether you are charged with simple possession of marijuana or possession with intent to sell.

Usually what you are charged with again depends on the weight of the marijuana involved. Simple possession of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $2,500 fine. The penalties imposed by courts are not usually this severe, but several courts in Tennessee do required some jail time for even a first offense. A third conviction for simple possession is a Class E felony. Any drug conviction, including marijuana, can also have adverse effects on your ability to receive financial aid from the government for school, housing, etc.

Possession with intent to sell is a felony; the class of felony depends on the weight of the marijuana involved. Just because you have a certain amount of marijuana does not mean you are guilty of possession with intent to sell if it is indeed designed for personal use. The penalties in Tennessee for marijuana are as follows:

Simple Possession- Up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $2,500.00 fine, if it is the third or greater offense, it is a Class E felony and can carry a sentence of one to six years in jail and a fine up to $3,000.00. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000), unless otherwise provided by statute.

Possession with intent to sell- The penalties for possession with intent to sell are as follows:

Class of Felony
Jail Time
.5 oz to 10 lbsClass E Felony1-6 yearsUp to $5,000.00
10 lbs to 70 lbsClass D Felony2-12 yearsUp to $50,000.00
70 lbs to 300 lbsClass B Felony8-30 yearsUp to $200,000.00
More than 300 lbsClass A Felony15-60 yearsUp to $500,000.00

Further, if you are charged with possession of hashish, it generally carries harsher penalties. The level of felony you are charged with also may depend on the number of plants involved as well. In addition, sale to a minor within 1,000 feet of a school means an increased penalty.

First convictions of any felony has a mandatory minimum fine of $2,000, Second convictions $3,000, and subsequent convictions $5,000.

Regardless of the amount you are charged with, it is a serious offense and legal representation is crucial.