We hate to be the bearers of bad news but it’s always wise to keep in mind the worst states for stoners, from Draconian laws to the punitive action if one violates them.
While weed remains illegal on a federal level, some states more than others firmly uphold this absurd legislation, with full support from the White House and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who apparently never tires in his quest to enact total prohibition.
Many lists of this nature have been drawn up. Here is a compilation of the 10 worst states to get caught with marijuana.
While legislation to legalize marijuana was introduced here in 2016, it never even made it out of the committee process, which means that possession of less than one ounce of marijuana can still lead to a six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.
While patients with intractable epilepsy can possess low-THC cannabis oil, they can still be arrested for it, though not necessarily penalized with jail time. This is happening despite a 2015 Quinnipiac poll that showed 86 percent of Virginia voters support legalization.
Arizona, another state with legal MMJ, but don’t get caught without your rec card or you could be slapped with a felony. Getting nabbed with even small amounts of weed can land you in jail from four months to two years.
As Florida continues to struggle with its MMJ industry, people caught with less than 20 grams of weed are still getting arrested. Although considered a misdemeanor, a marijuana arrest is never good on one’s record. Possessing more than than 20 grams could result in a third degree felony charge, which carries up to five years in prison.
Georgia has some protections for small amounts of marijuana possession, but more than two ounces can lead to a sentence of up to 10 years.
Iowa’s laws are probably the harshest for first time possession offenders. As little as a single joint can be punished with up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The law here indicates that possession of three ounces or less is considered a misdemeanor, but it carries a maximum punishment of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine; ditto for paraphernalia. Last year, a bill was passed that would have protected the seriously ill from conviction for possessing MMJ oil with teeny amounts of THC, but Governor Butch Otter vetoed it.
In addition to strict rules against possession, Louisiana also has possibly the harshest cultivation punishments in the U.S. All distribution or cultivation under 60 pounds—and that includes one plant—can lead to five to 30 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.
In VP Mike Pence’s highly conservative state one can end up in jail and paying a $5,000 fine for possession of a single joint. The police here arrest thousands of people yearly for possession.
South Dakota, although it approved MMJ, has some of the country’s harshest marijuana laws. Possession of just a small amount carries a potential penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Possession of hash or concentrates can be punished by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The worst part is that it doesn’t even matter if the police arrest you with marijuana in your possession, anyone who tests positive for past marijuana use can be punished under the same laws—even if the consumption occurred in a legal state.