The legalization of marijuana in several states across the United States has brought about a lot of changes in the way people consume the plant. However, it's important to note that the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that possession of marijuana, including edibles, is illegal under federal law, regardless of the state's marijuana laws.
If you are caught with edibles, whether you are traveling with them or using them recreationally, you could be charged with possession of marijuana under federal laws. The consequences of being charged with possession of marijuana can be severe and life-altering, which is why it's important to understand the legal implications of being caught with edibles.
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In this blog post, we will discuss further the different consequences that come with being caught with edibles. By the end of this post, you'll be more aware of the potential penalties associated with possessing edibles, and how to avoid these consequences in the future.
What Happens If You Get Caught with Marijuana Edibles?
In general, possession of marijuana can result in a range of charges and penalties. This depends on the amount of marijuana in your possession and the specific laws of your state.
The consequences of being caught with edibles under federal law can be particularly harsh. In most cases, possession of any amount of marijuana, including edibles, is considered a federal offense and is punishable by jail time and a fine. Being caught with larger amounts of marijuana means you could face more severe charges and penalties, including years in prison and hefty fines.
In addition to federal penalties, being caught with edibles can also result in state charges and penalties, which depend on the specific laws of your state.
For example, in some states, possession of small amounts of marijuana may be considered a misdemeanor, while in other states, possession of any amount of marijuana can result in serious criminal charges.
In Texas, if you have between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana, it is considered a felony. If convicted, you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days in prison, a maximum of 2 years in prison, and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
If the recreational use of marijuana is legal in your state, then possessing the allowable amount should be alright as long as you are of age.
For instance, individuals in California who are 21 years or older can have up to 1 ounce of dried marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis. It is important to remember that the laws regarding marijuana also apply to marijuana-infused edibles, which are food products that contain marijuana.
However, if you are under 21 or the edibles you are carrying contain more than the legally-allowed amount of marijuana, then you could face significant consequences like being charged with a misdemeanor offense. Some of these penalties include:
- Fines: This will depend on the state and amount in possession, you may receive a fine for possessing marijuana edibles.
- Jail Time: In some states, being caught with edibles can result in jail time of up to 6 months or more.
What Happens If You Get Caught with Marijuana Edibles while Traveling?
If you are caught with edibles while traveling, you could also face additional charges and penalties for crossing state lines with a controlled substance. Even if the state you are traveling to has legalized marijuana, it is still illegal to cross state lines with the substance under federal law.
Law enforcement officers, including TSA officers, are trained to identify edibles and other forms of marijuana flower, such as hash oil. If you are caught with edibles, you could be charged with possession of marijuana and face the same consequences as if you were caught with the flower itself.
What To Do If You Get Caught with Marijuana Edibles?
If you are charged with possession of marijuana or caught with edibles, it is important to seek the advice of criminal defense attorneys who are experienced in handling drug-related cases. They can assist you navigate the complex legal system.
Many law firms offer free consultations, so it's important to reach out to them as soon as possible if you are charged with possession of marijuana or caught with edibles. They can provide you with the guidance you need to make informed decisions about your case and can help you protect your rights and your future.
Get Help for Substance Abuse in Anaheim California
Being caught with edibles can result in serious criminal charges and penalties, both under federal laws and state laws. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to seek the advice of attorneys who can help you understand your legal options and work to minimize your charges and penalties.
Additionally, it's important to remember that while marijuana laws are changing rapidly, abusing the substance can create serious consequences. If someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.
At Anaheim Lighthouse, we offer evidence-based treatment programs for individuals struggling with addiction. Our compassionate and experienced team of professionals provides a comprehensive approach to recovery and helps our clients achieve lasting sobriety.
Medically Reviewed by:
Dr. Preet Joneja PsyD and the clinical team at Anaheim Lighthouse
Preet Joneja is the Clinical Director at Anaheim Lighthouse in Anaheim, California. She is a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of experience working with individuals suffering from mental and emotional disorders.
Peng, H., & Shahidi, F. (2021). Cannabis and Cannabis Edibles: A Review. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 69(6), 1751–1774. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c07472
Reboussin, B. A., Wagoner, K. G., Sutfin, E. L., Suerken, C. K., Ross, J. L., Egan, K. M., Walker, S., & Johnson, R. M. (2019). Trends in marijuana edible consumption and perceptions of harm in a cohort of young adults. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 205, 107660. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107660
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