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Marijuana charges in Mississippi are still a serious matter

More and more states and cities are legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana for adult recreational use. Even more states have created legal medical marijuana programs for those with serious medical conditions.

Mississippi has made some changes to marijuana laws in recent years, but that doesn't mean that you can possess or use marijuana without criminal penalties. You may think that pleading guilty will inspire lenience, but you could face steep penalties even if you plead guilty. If you are in the military, a guilty plea could also result in military disciplinary action.

In fact, depending on the kind of marijuana you use and how much you have, you could face a felony offense, even if you have no pre-existing criminal record. You may hope that the courts and law enforcement will be lenient toward you when it comes to marijuana, but, in reality, you could end up with a criminal record. Jail time, steep fines and difficulty finding housing and jobs could await you if you get caught with marijuana.

Mississippi only decriminalized first-time offenses

People who hear that Mississippi has decriminalized marijuana to an extent may believe that they can use and possess the plant with impunity. The decriminalization measure was actually very limited in scope. It only applies to first-time offenders who are found in possession of 30 grams or less, which is just slightly more than an ounce. If you have a previous drug conviction or get caught with any amount over 30 grams, you could end up in jail.

First offenses that fall under the decriminalization law get penalized with a fine of up to $250. Any subsequent offense with 30 grams or less carries misdemeanor charges and between five and 60 days in jail for a second charge or up to six months for a third offense. Charges for over 30 grams are felony charges, which carry between one and three years in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. You could also face a second misdemeanor charge if you get caught with any kind of paraphernalia.

Marijuana concentrates are not decriminalized

Butane hash oil, pressed hash and other forms of marijuana concentrates are incredibly popular these days. Unfortunately for those who prefer this form of marijuana, getting caught with any amount up to .1 grams could be a misdemeanor or a felony that carries a fine of $1,000 and a year in jail.

Possession of over .1 grams, up to 2 grams, is a felony that can result in three years in jail and a fine of $50,000. If you're charged with making or selling concentrates, you could go to prison for 30 years and face a fine of $1,000,000! Even if you were making it for personal use, you could spend the rest of your adult life behind bars.

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