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Don't let a marijuana possession charge snuff out your future

Although multiple states have moved forward with legalizing recreational marijuana, Kansas still views marijuana as a drug that you cannot use recreationally. In fact, even using medical marijuana is illegal in the state.

For this reason, if you are arrested on a charge of marijuana possession, you may understandably feel nervous about what your future holds. Fortunately, you have the right to fight the drug charge in an effort to protect your future.

Drug classification for marijuana

Both state and federal laws classify drugs as being anywhere from Schedule V, which is the least dangerous level, to Schedule I, the most dangerous one. Authorities determine these schedules based on the accepted medical uses of drugs as well as on the potential for people to suffer harm from them or to become addicted to them. However, marijuana falls under the Schedule I classification along with drugs such as methamphetamine and heroin.

What the law says about marijuana possession

The crime of possessing marijuana receives slightly lighter treatment in Kansas than the crime of possessing other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. If police have charged you with marijuana possession for the first time, you can expect to spend up to a year behind bars and pay a fine of $2,500 if you end up with a conviction.

The punishment for a second marijuana possession conviction will be based on your previous criminal history. It will vary from 10 months if you do not have a criminal record to 42 months if you have three-plus crimes against other people, including rape or assault. On top of that, you may have to pay a fine as high as $100,000.

How to ensure that you have the best defense possible

If you face a marijuana possession charge, all hope is not lost. You have the right to proceed to trial to fight this charge. At trial, the prosecution must prove your charge beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can happen.

Alternatively, you may pursue a plea deal with the prosecution, which may lead to a lighter charge and thus a more lenient sentence than what you may face following a guilty verdict at trial. Either way, a qualified attorney in Kansas will push for the best outcome for you given the facts of your marijuana possession case.

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