Did you know it is illegal to gift someone a box of chocolates over 50 lbs in Idaho? It is the law in Gainesville, Georgia that you must eat fried chicken with your hands. What were these lawmakers smoking? And What are the Kentucky marijuana laws?
Ignorance is no defense for breaking the law. Before you give your buddy 100 lbs of Snickers for his birthday or grow, sell, buy, smoke, or eat marijuana you had better know the local laws. Read on to learn everything you need to know about Kentucky marijuana laws for 2021.
Kentucky Marijuana Laws
Kentucky may be the bluegrass state but green weed, not so much. The penalties for breaking marijuana laws in Kentucky are some of the most severe in the country.
Recently, legal weed activists have made some ground in getting lawmakers to reconsider Kentucky’s harsh stance on the drug, but marijuana prohibition is still very much alive in Kentucky.
1. Law of Growing Marijuana
Who says money doesn’t grow on trees? In Kentucky, an ounce of high-quality marijuana can sell on the streets for $339 or more. Before you head down to your basement to set up a grow-room, you should know growing marijuana in Kentucky is against the law.
Kentucky is part of the “marijuana belt” and is the third-largest producer of marijuana in The United States. With thick forestland and easy access, The Daniel Boone National Forest is a favorite grow spot for marijuana cultivators.
Many growers take advantage of the vast public land to shield themselves from the risk of prosecution if discovered. The national forest has over 600,000 acres of land in which to hide marijuana fields. 206,908 marijuana plants from the Daniel Boone National Forest were pulled and burned in 2003.
For a first time offender, the cultivation of less than five marijuana plants is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in prison and a $500 fine. Grow more than five plants you will be charged with a felony and risk up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Grow again and risk a 10-year prison sentence.
Kentucky once was one of the largest producers of hemp. In 1850 the state harvested 40,000 tons of the crop. Hemp was widely used in the manufacturing of clothes and ropes in The United States.
2. Law of Selling Marijuana
Legal weed is big business these days, but legal retail weed businesses in Kentucky are far off. The distribution of marijuana in Kentucky is strictly illegal.
Trafficking of under five pounds can get you one to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A second offense will have you facing 10-20 years.
Penalties are considerably harsher for selling to minors. Selling marijuana to a minor carries a minimum sentence of 5 years and up to 10 years. Subsequent offenses hold sentences of 10-20 years in prison. What’s more, if caught selling any amount of the weed within 1,000 yards of a school, you face 1-5 years in prison.
3. Law of Smoking Marijuana
Drugged driving is the term used for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana affects motor skills and reaction time making driving high dangerous. All states have laws against this including Kentucky.
If you had or are ever have a motor vehicle accident involving a drugged driver in the State of Kentucky the attorneys at this practice in Lexington can help you get compensation for your injuries.
Smoking or being under the influence of marijuana in public is illegal in Kentucky. Yet, it isn’t the smoking that will get you in the most trouble but rather the having of the substance.
Possession laws are relatively relaxed in 2020 compared to Kentucky marijuana laws of the past. Having less than eight ounces is a misdemeanor with a 45-day jail sentence and a $250 fine.
Possession of over eight ounces is considered “possession with intent to sell” and the accused faces the same penalties as trafficking the drug.
The state has a program for first-time marijuana offenders called conditional release. The program allows the accused to take probation instead of going to trial. If they stay clean and complete the probation the charge will be dropped from their permanent record.
What about smoking hash? Hash is a concentrated and considerably more potent form of marijuana. According to Kentucky law, marijuana concentrates are no different than the flower of the plant and carry the same penalties.
What about paraphernalia? Marijuana paraphernalia is anything used in the consumption of marijuana. Pipes, rolling papers, bongs, and vaporizers are legal. Considered tobacco products, they are not illegal until you smoke marijuana with them.
Once used to smoke cannibals, the residue of marijuana can be found on or inside them. This residue makes them marijuana paraphernalia. Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and punishable by a $100 fine and up to a year in jail.
4. Law of Eating Marijuana
Many folks eat pizza, brownies, hard candy, or any number of foods infused with marijuana to get high. Anything, including food, containing marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient THC, is illegal. Yes, eating or possessing marijuana-infused products is a crime in Kentucky.
In April of 2014, Kentucky passed a law allowing doctors to prescribe CBD, a non-psychoactive ingredient of marijuana. CBD is known to help treat patients with multiple sclerosis, cancer, and epilepsy. CBD oil contains no THC and therefore ingesting it does not get the user high.
5. Law of Medical Marijuana
Elected officials are outspokenly against legal weed in Kentucky. A 2015 bill proposing a medical marijuana framework failed to pass at the committee stage. Despite opposition from the anti-cannabis group National Marijuana Initiative and the Kentucky Baptist convention, medical marijuana is close to being legal in Kentucky.
On February 20, 2020, House Bill 136 was passed by Kentucky’s House of Representatives, but the bill has not yet be considered by the Senate because of delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would make medical marijuana legal in the state of Kentucky. Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and Washington, DC.
Considering the pattern of other states, Kentucky might be taking the first steps towards more relaxed laws, decriminalization, or even full legalization of marijuana. Maybe someday, but right now Kentucky marijuana laws are harsher than most states and are strictly enforced.
Got Busted for Marijuana Kentucky?
Attitudes for and against Kentucky marijuana are changing rapidly in the United States and so are Kentucky marijuana laws. Know and practice your rights.
If you ever find yourself arrested or charged with violations of Kentucky marijuana law be sure to have or acquire competent legal representation. Search for attorneys in Kentucky specializing in criminal laws in the Halt Lawyer Directory to help with your court case.