In Mississippi, as in most states, possession of marijuana is illegal, even if it’s less than an ounce.
Possession of marijuana is prohibited by the Mississippi Controlled Substance Law. Under Mississippi Code Annotated Section 41-29-139, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor, and carries the following penalties:
First Offense: $100.00 to $250.00 fine;
No jail time.
Second Offense (within 2 years): $250.00 fine;
5 to 60 days in jail;
Drug education classes.
Third Offense (within 2 years): $250.00 to $500.00 fine;
5 days to 6 months in jail.
These potential sentences may not seem very severe, especially for a first offense. But if you get caught with that same amount of marijuana in a motor vehicle, then you have a problem. The same section goes on to state:
Additionally, a person who is the operator of a motor vehicle, who possesses on his person or knowingly keeps or allows to be kept in a motor vehicle within the area of the vehicle normally occupied by the driver or passengers, more than one (1) gram, but not more than thirty (30) grams, of marihuana is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction may be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and confined for not more than ninety (90) days in the county jail. For the purposes of this subsection, such area of the vehicle shall not include the trunk of the motor vehicle or the areas not normally occupied by the driver or passengers if the vehicle is not equipped with a trunk. A utility or glove compartment shall be deemed to be within the area occupied by the driver and passengers….
In addition to these penalties, under another Mississippi Code section, a conviction for possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle will cause your driver’s license to be suspended for six (6) months.
The lesson here? Don’t get caught with weed in your car. While the penalties for simple possession of marijuana might sound like a joke, the penalties for having it in a car are nothing to laugh about.
If you’ve been arrested for possession of marijuana or any other controlled substance, please call me.
Mississippi Criminal Defense Attorney Curt Crowley