With school starting, a lot of students are living away from home for the first time. While that is an exhilarating step toward being an adult, bad things can still happen.
One problem is that many young people think we are living in a new era, and that smoking marijuana is no longer a serious offense. Every year, people are stunned to find themselves arrested and charged with a serious misdemeanor. Suddenly, all their hopes for a successful college experience go up in smoke.
Here are the facts
If you're caught with less than 10 grams of pot, that's a civil offense, carrying a fine of $100. More than 10 grams (but less than 50 pounds), and you will be charged with misdemeanor possession, with possible penalties of a year in jail plus up to a $1,000 fine.
It is very easy to possess 10 grams of marijuana. And the penalties applied by the state are just the beginning. Your school may decide they don't need you any longer in the student body. You can lose your job. Your reputation will take a serious ding. Your once-bright future will not seem so bright any more.
It gets much worse
Those are the most minor marijuana offenses. You don't want to know what happens as the amount of unlawful drugs increases. A marijuana felony charge can take away your freedom for as much as 40 years, with fines that can go as high as $1 million.
Handling cases in Salisbury and Ocean City
It is true, Maryland is evolving. Medical marijuana is now legal, with significant restrictions. But it has not evolved as much as some young people, perhaps inspired by being high, imagine.
Our message at MacDonald Law Office in Salisbury is, have a great school year. But have a care. We are not living in the brave new marijuana world yet, not by a mile.
Study hard. Have fun. If you do run into trouble, we are here to minimize the pain the law can inflict.