Montana Marijuana Laws

A Detailed Review of the Montana Marijuana Laws: Criminal


CLICK HERE for Montana
Medical Marijuana Laws

Under the Montana Medical Marijuana Program, unless you currently hold a 'registry identification card' issued by the State of Montana authorizing you to use marijuana for medical purposes - your use of marijuana within Montana will most likely be looked upon as criminal activity.

Since the medical use of marijuana, even without a permit, occurs on a regular basis in ALL 50 US STATES, it is beneficial to know ALL of the laws surrounding the use of marijuana for YOUR particular state.

Let's begin with an overview of the criminal Montana marijuana laws and subsequent penalties as they relate to the use, manufacture and sale of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia.

 


Montana Marijuana Laws - Criminal
Crime
Classification
Jail Time
Fine
       
Marijuana Possession:      
Up to 60 grams:      
Misdemeanor 6 mo. in county $100-$500
Felony 3 years $1,000
More than 60 grams
Felony
20 years
$50,000

* Deferment of prison sentence is possible

       
Cultivation:      
Felony
10 years
$50,000
Felony
2 years to life
$50,000
Felony
Double penalty
$100,000
       
Sale:      
Felony
1 year to life
$50,000
Felony
+ 2 years to life
$50,000
Felony
+ 3 years to life
$50,000
* being unaware of the law is no excuse. However, there is one possible defense (click on defense).
       
Other:      
Possession or Sale of Paraphernalia
Misdemeanor
6 months
$500
Possession and Storage
Mandatory
N/A
35% MV

 

Some Things to be Aware of with Montana Marijuana Laws:

 

1) Marijuana is a schedule I drug per the Montana Code Annotated 2009

MMJ-Guide.com: Medical Marijuana Information

2) Montana Marijuana Laws allowing medical use and possession for qualified, card carrying patients have been enacted. Please click here for details on the Montana State Medical Marijuana Act.

 

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For improved user readability and to get rid of some of the legal jargon within the Montana marijuana laws, the information below is a shortened and revised description of the Montana marijuana laws: Revised Statutes (linked from the table above). You will find each Code's text in the drop-down boxes just below each discussed section of code.

 

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Montana Code Definitions:


     "Marijuana (marihuana)" means all plant material from the genus cannabis containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or seeds of the genus capable of germination.

"Hashish", as distinguished from marijuana, means the mechanically processed or extracted plant material that contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is composed of resin from the cannabis plant.

"Practitioner" means:
     (a) a physician, dentist, veterinarian, scientific investigator, or other person licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted to distribute, dispense, or conduct research with respect to or to administer a dangerous drug in the course of professional practice or research in this state;

"Ultimate user" means a person who lawfully possesses a dangerous drug for personal use or for the use of a member of the person's household or for administering to an animal owned by the person or by a member of the person's household.

 

 

The Codes discussed below, relate to all of the criminal Montana marijuana laws shown in the table above.

 

 

Montana Marijuana Laws:

 

**Criminal distribution of dangerous drugs**

 

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-101-1

Except as provided in Title 50, chapter 46, if someone sells, exchanges, barters, gives away (or offers to do any of the above) marijuana, they have committed the offense of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

Annotated Code 45-9-101-1 TEXT

(1) a person commits the offense of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs if the person sells, barters, exchanges, gives away, or offers to sell, barter, exchange, or give away any dangerous drug, as defined in 50-32-101.

('Dangerous Drugs' include Schedule I Drugs. Marijuana is a schedule I Drug.)

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-101-4

Someone convicted of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs shall be incarcerated in state prison for a term of 1 year to life OR pay a fine of $50,000 OR both.  

Annotated Code 45-9-101-4 TEXT

(4) A person convicted of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs not otherwise provided for in subsection (2), (3), or (5) shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term of not less than 1 year or more than life or be fined an amount of not more than $50,000, or both.

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-101-5


An adult convicted of criminal distribution of drugs to a minor shall receive:

If convicted under subsection 4 (above), the person will be incarcerated in the state prison for 2 years to life and may receive a fine of up to $50,000.  

Annotated Code 45-9-101-5 TEXT

(5) A person who was an adult at the time of distribution and who is convicted of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs to a minor shall be sentenced as follows:
     (a) If convicted pursuant to subsection (2), the person shall be imprisoned in the state prison for not less than 4 years or more than life and may be fined not more than $50,000, except as provided in 46-18-222.
     (b) If convicted of the distribution of a dangerous drug included in Schedule I or Schedule II pursuant to 50-32-222 or 50-32-224 and if previously convicted of such a distribution, the person shall be imprisoned in the state prison for not less than 20 years or more than life and may be fined not more than $50,000, except as provided in 46-18-222.
     (c) If convicted of the distribution of a dangerous drug included in Schedule I or Schedule II pursuant to 50-32-222 or 50-32-224 and if previously convicted of two or more such distributions, the person shall be imprisoned in the state prison for not less than 40 years or more than life and may be fined not more than $50,000, except as provided in 46-18-222.
     (d) If convicted pursuant to subsection (4), the person shall be imprisoned in the state prison for not less than 2 years or more than life and may be fined not more than $50,000, except as provided in 46-18-222.

** Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs **

 

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-102-1

(1) Except as provided in Title 50, chapter 46, if you are in possession of 'dangerous drugs' as defined by the state in 50-32-101, you have committed the offense of criminal poses si on of 'dangerous drugs'.

Annotated Code 45-9-102-1 TEXT

Except as provided in Title 50, chapter 46, a person commits the offense of criminal possession of dangerous drugs if the person possesses any dangerous drug, as defined in 50-32-101.

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-102-2

(2) Someone convicted for the first time of having 60 grams or less of marijuana or its derivative OR 1 gram of hashish, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable with a fine of between $100-$500 plus 6 months in the county jail. In order to get a suspended or deferred sentence a fine must be imposed. A second conviction or subsequent offense gets a fine not to exceed $1,000 OR by incarceration in the county jail for up to 1 year or incarceration it state prison for up to 3 years, or both.

Annotated Code 45-9-102-2 TEXT

A person convicted of criminal possession of marijuana or its derivatives in an amount the aggregate weight of which does not exceed 60 grams of marijuana or 1 gram of hashish is, for the first offense, guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500 and by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months. The minimum fine must be imposed as a condition of a suspended or deferred sentence. A person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this subsection is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 1 year or in the state prison for a term not to exceed 3 years or by both.

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-102-7

 

(7) First time violators of this code are presumed to be entitled to a deferred imposition of sentence of imprisonment.

Annotated Code 45-9-102-7 TEXT

A person convicted of a first violation under this section is presumed to be entitled to a deferred imposition of sentence of imprisonment.

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-102-8

(8) 'Ultimate Users' and practitioners are exempt from this code.

Annotated Code 45-9-102-8 TEXT

Ultimate users and practitioners, as defined in 50-32-101, and agents under their supervision acting in the course of a professional practice are exempt from this section.

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-109

If you were caught selling 'dangerous drugs' in a school zone (1000 ft) you will be incarcerated for 3 years to life AND fined up to $50,000.

Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

If you are using MMJ in a private residence near a school and no one under 18 is present - you have a viable defense against the 'school zone' law.

Annotated Code 45-9-109 TEXT
(1) A person commits the offense of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs on or near school property if the person violates 45-9-101 in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school.
     (2) Except as provided in 46-18-222, a person convicted of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs on or near school property:
     (a) shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term of not less than 3 years or more than life; and
     (b) may be fined an amount of not more than $50,000.
     (3) It is not a defense to prosecution under subsection (1) that the person did not know the distance involved.
     (4) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for a violation of this section that:
     (a) the prohibited conduct took place entirely within a private residence; and
     (b) no person 17 years of age or younger was present in the private residence at any time during the commission of the offense.

 

**Criminal production or manufacture of dangerous drugs**

 

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-110-1

  Except as provided in Title 50, chapter 46, someone who purposely or knowingly produces, prepares, compounds, cultivates, manufactures, or processes a dangerous drug has committed the offense of criminal production or manufacture of dangerous drugs.

Annotated Code 45-9-110-1 TEXT
Except as provided in Title 50, chapter 46, a person commits the offense of criminal production or manufacture of dangerous drugs if the person knowingly or purposely produces, manufactures, prepares, cultivates, compounds, or processes a dangerous drug, as defined in 50-32-101.

Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-110-4

Someone convicted of criminal manufacture or production of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol shall be incarcerated in state prison for up to 10 years and receive a fine of up to $50,000 - unless...

If the amount (weight) of marijuana is greater than 1 pound or the number of plants is greater than 30, the individual shall be incarcerated in state prison from 2 years to life and may be fined no more than $50,000.
    

The term 'weight' means the weight of the dried plant including stem structure and leaves but excludes the root structure.

Second or subsequent convictions under this subsection shall result in incarceration in state prison for double the term authorized for the initial conviction and a fine of not more that $100,000.

Annotated Code 45-9-110-4 TEXT
A person convicted of criminal production or manufacture of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, or a dangerous drug not referred to in subsections (2) and (3) shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years and may be fined not more than $50,000, except that if the dangerous drug is marijuana and the total weight is more than a pound or the number of plants is more than 30, the person shall be imprisoned in the state prison for not less than 2 years or more than life and may be fined not more than $50,000. "Weight" means the weight of the dry plant and includes the leaves and stem structure but does not include the root structure. A person convicted under this subsection who has a prior conviction that has become final for criminal production or manufacture of a drug under this subsection shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed twice that authorized for a first offense under this subsection and may be fined not more than $100,000.

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Montana Marijuana Laws: Annotated Code 45-9-130

In addition to punishments and fines under this title, each person found to have possessed or stored dangerous drugs shall be fined by the court 35% of the market value of the drugs as determined by the court.

Annotated Code 45-9-130 TEXT
(1) In addition to the punishments and fines set forth in this part, the court shall fine each person found to have possessed or stored dangerous drugs 35% of the market value of the drugs as determined by the court.
     (2) The fines collected pursuant to subsection (1) during each calendar year must be transmitted by the clerk of court to the department of revenue no later than 10 days following the end of the calendar year. The department shall deposit the fines in the state general fund.

 

More on Montana Marijuana Laws:

For further details about the specifics of the legislation and other Montana marijuana laws - Visit the Official Montana Legislative Website home page on the Montana State Legislature's Web site - or more specifically the Montana Annotated Code page.

 

 

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