For people who live in Idaho, it can be frustrating to know that everyone who lives around Idaho can use marijuana except for them. While marijuana is legal in Oregon, Washington, Nevada and California, it is illegal in Idaho. In all of these states, and many others throughout the U.S., it is legal to use marijuana recreationally. Even in Montana and Utah, people can use the drug for medicinal purposes. Idaho has chosen to treat marijuana as an illegal drug for any purpose.
A lot of people thought this would change, especially as so many surrounding states legalized the drug. It seems like it will only be a matter of time before every state in the U.S. does the same thing. There has even been talk of the federal government legalizing marijuana. For now, however, Idaho lawmakers are clear – marijuana is an illegal drug and will be treated as such.
Marijuana is not even legal for medicinal purposes in Boise, Idaho. This is why Boise criminal defense lawyers represent so many people who’ve been charged with possession. If you’re lucky, the police officer who arrests you will choose to write a citation. If this is the case, all you need to do is show up at court and pay your fine. But they do have the option of taking you to jail. It’s all up to the officer and the circumstances of your case.
It is Illegal to Have Any Amount of Marijuana or Cannabis on You in Idaho
In Idaho, you can be arrested and sent to jail for having the smallest amount of marijuana on your possession. The good news is that, if you’re caught with less than 3 ounces of marijuana, you’ll only be facing a misdemeanor. However, in Boise, you can still face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine for a misdemeanor.
If you’re caught with more than 3 ounces on you, the consequences are a lot worse. For example, if you have 1 to 5 pounds of marijuana on you, the State will charge you with a felony. You’ll be facing up to five years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. And if you’re caught selling any amount of the drug, you’re automatically charged with a felony. This means you can be facing up to life in prison – even for your first offense.
The Police Do Have Some Discretion in Charging You with a Misdemeanor of a Felony
If you’re caught with less than 3 ounces of marijuana, the police do have some discretion. They can choose to issue a citation or take you off to jail. Their decision will depend on a few things, including:
- How much of the drug you’re caught with
- What your criminal history may be
- Other circumstances in your case
For example, if the police pull you over and you are charged with DUI, chances are, they’re not going to take it easy on you. If they find a couple of ounces of marijuana in your car, they’re probably going to cart you off to jail. If, however, they pull you over for a minor traffic infraction and you’re very cooperative, they may take it easy on you.
Idaho Drug Trafficking Laws are Strict – Even for Marijuana
A lot of our clients think that they can get in more trouble for trafficking drugs like heroin than they can for marijuana. And, while the statute does offer different trafficking rule depending on the drug, that doesn’t mean the consequences for trafficking of marijuana are minor. In fact, there are mandatory minimum sentences written into Idaho statutes for drug trafficking. This means the cops and the prosecutor can’t use their discretion. This also means it will be harder for your Boise criminal defense lawyer to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
The sentencing minimums for drug trafficking of marijuana are as follows:
- 1 to 5 pounds – 1 year in jail and fines of up to $5,000
- 5-25 pounds – 3 years in jail and $10,000 fines
- More than 25 pounds carries a 5-year sentence and up to $15,000 in fines
Contact a Boise Criminal Defense Lawyer Right Away
If you’re arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, you need to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Boise right away. You’re going to be facing jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. Your attorney can at least try to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Call right away and schedule your initial consultation.