Protecting Your Rights
VA Code § 18.2-248.1 outlaws possession with intent to distribute marijuana, or “PWID-marijuana” for short (pronounced “pee-wid”).
There are several ways the police attempt to prove possession with intent to distribute marijuana: undercover drug buys, confessions, text messages from the defendant’s phone, the quantity of drugs (more than the amount typical for personal use), possession of scales, individually packaged drugs and possession of lots of cash.
The punishments for distribution of marijuana in Virginia increase as the quantity of marijuana in the defendant’s possession increases. However, there is no minimum quantity for distributing marijuana. One officer I know made a distribution of (PWID) arrest after he witnessed one man pass a joint to another man while they were smoking weed on a stoop.
PWID up to .5 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum of 12 months in jail and a mandatory six-month license suspension.
PWID more than .5 ounces and less than five pounds of marijuana is a felony with a maximum of 10 years in jail and a mandatory six-month license suspension.
PWID more than five pounds of marijuana (but less than 100 kg) is a felony with a maximum of 30 years in jail and a minimum of five years in prison.
PWID of 100 kilograms or more of marijuana is a felony punishable by 20 years to life in prison. If you have been arrested for possession with intent to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana, you probably do not need this book to know you are in trouble.
Distribution of Marijuana or PWID Near a School
VA Code § 18.2-255.2 bans possessing drugs with the intent to distribute (PWID) marijuana near schools, day care centers, school bus stops, and many other public locations. This law applies even if the defendant was not intending to distribute the drugs on school property.
For example, if a suspect is arrested for distribution while driving through a school zone, they may be guilty of distribution near a school under 18.2-255.2.
There is a long list of locations where this statute applies: any public property within 1,000 feet of a school, including colleges and junior colleges, day care centers, recreation centers, public libraries, community centers; within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop if children are there; any public property within 1,000 feet of a state hospital or health facility.
Growing or Manufacturing Marijuana in Virginia
Growing, producing, manufacturing, preparing, propagating, compounding, converting, or processing marijuana that is not just for personal use is a felony with a maximum fine of $1,000,000 and a maximum of 30 years in prison with a five-year minimum. There are no minimum quantity requirements for growing marijuana. In Virginia, a person can be guilty of manufacturing marijuana after growing a single plant and giving a home-grown joint to a friend.
Call Nichols & Green PLLC (703) 215-1114 for a free consultation if you are charged with distribution of Marijuana, distribution near a school or manufacturing marijuana in Virginia.
At Nichols & Green PLLC we defend hundreds of people every year and Marijuana crimes are extremely common in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. Nichols and Mr. Green have spent years studying and defending drug crimes such as distribution of marijuana, possession of marijuana, distribution of marijuana at a school, manufacturing marijuana and growing marijuana. Luke Nichols and Garrett Green are the authors of the Virginia Drug Crimes Defense Manual.
If you are charged with marijuana distribution or any of these other marijuana crimes, call Nichols & Green PLLC to speak to these lawyers about your charges and to receive a free consultation and a free copy of our book. Consultations can be done over the phone or in person (703) 215-1114.