It’s no secret that Oklahoma has some of the toughest – if not the toughest – penalties for marijuana possession in the country. A quick Google search will show headlines like, “5 worst states to get busted with pot,” or “Oklahoma’s harsh marijuana possession law has its critics.”
It’s said that more than 12,000 Oklahoma residents are arrested for marijuana possession every year. Twelve other states arrest a higher percentage of their residents for marijuana possession, though it’s likely that no other state punishes more severely for pot.
So, what is it about Oklahoma’s marijuana laws that give Oklahoma such a reputation?
What is the punishment for a marijuana possession conviction?
In Oklahoma, if you get busted with any amount of marijuana – even if it is just a small amount – it is a crime, punishable by:
- A fine
- Up to one year in jail for a first offense
- Two – ten years in prison for second and subsequent offenses
What are the punishments for growing and selling marijuana?
It is illegal to grow or sell marijuana, or even to possess marijuana with the intent to sell it. Your punishment depends on how much marijuana you were caught growing, selling, or possessing with the intent to sell.
- A fine of up to $20,000, between two years and life in prison – or both – if you are convicted of growing up to 1,000 plants or selling 25 pounds or less.
- A maximum $50,000 fine, twenty years to life in prison – or both – if you are convicted of growing 1,000 or more plants.
- A fine no lower than $25,000 and no higher than $100,000, between four years and life in prison – or both – if you are convicted of selling between 25 and 1,000 pounds of marijuana.
- A fine of no less than $100,000 and no more than $500,000, four years to life in prison – or both – if you are convicted of selling 1,000 pounds or more of marijuana.
If you get caught selling marijuana to a minor or caught selling it within 2,000 feet of a school, park or public housing, your penalties can double.
What are the penalties for drug paraphernalia?
Not only is it illegal for you to possess marijuana, it’s also against the law for you to possess paraphernalia – or items used to grow, process, sell, store, smoke or consume pot. Examples include bongs, pipes, roach clips, and more.
Penalties for drug paraphernalia are:
- Up to one year in jail
- A maximum $1,000 fine for your first conviction
- A maximum $5,000 fine for the second offense
- A maximum $10,000 for third or subsequent convictions
In 2011, lawmakers made the manufacturing of hash – a purified preparation of marijuana resin glands – punishable by a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of life. If you’re arrested for marijuana in Oklahoma, make sure you hire an experienced defense attorney to help weave you through the web of strict marijuana laws.