Into every like, they say, a little rain must fall. Unless you’re in Florida, where the rains come every day (both literally and figuratively). Today’s gem is care of the New York Post: “Robert Johnson, 38, is charged with making [pot brownies] and giving them to his teenage daughter to peddle at a [baseball] game.”
Cue the terrible puns about “baked” goods.
It sounds ridiculous, but it’s actually quite serious. The Post reports that seven people were arrested: the father, the daughter and five other teenagers who helped distribute the drugs. Johnson “had a dozen marijuana plants inside a climate-controlled garage and hundreds of grams of dried cannabis and edibles” in his house. A friendly toke between friends, this was not.
Maryland’s pot laws
Let’s start with possession of marijuana. Maryland decriminalized the possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana, so if you get caught with a roach, you won’t be charged with a crime – though you may have to pay a penalty of $100. If you have more than 10 grams but fewer than 50lbs (you read that right: 50 pounds) for your own use, it’s a misdemeanor, a year in jail and $1000 fine. When you hit more than 50lbs, though, you’re looking at a felony charge of possession: 5 years in jail, and $100,000 in fines if you’re convicted. The fines and penalties go up with every conviction.
Robert Johnson and his little crew of drug runners are probably facing far more serious charges. Growing pot is illegal in Florida, but it’s not explicitly banned in Maryland. Usually, the cops will charge you with possession or distribution – and it’s the distribution charge you need to worry about more than anything. If you have more than 50lbs, you get labeled a drug kingpin. You could face up to 40 years in prison and a million bucks in fines. Throw the involvement of a minor into the mix, and it’s another 20 years and 20 grand.
So: if Robert Johnson pulled this stunt here in Annapolis, here’s what we’re looking at in a worst-case scenario:
- Hundreds of grams of edibles and cannabis. 100 grams equals roughly .22 pounds, so let’s assume he has half a pound at the most, including the plants. With current distribution laws, that’s 5 years and $15,000.
- Involvement of a minor. Six minors at 20 years/20 grand a minor (provided he’s charged individually) is 120 years and $120,000.
- School zone. Another 20 / $20,000.
That’s 145 years and $$155,000 in fines ASSUMING he has no priors, and that the judge throws the book at him with the maximum sentence, running concurrently (one after the other), for convictions on every individual drug crime charge. You could spend less time in prison for accidentally killing a man in Maryland than you would with these convictions.
Of course, if he has a good criminal defense attorney, it could be significantly less dire. And if he were in Annapolis and facing these kinds of charges, he’d want an attorney who has the chops to handle this kind of case – which means, he’d want someone like me on his side.
My name is Drew Cochran, and at Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, we know how to build a successful defense strategy against drug crimes of any magnitude. When your future is on the line, we’re ready to help. To schedule a consultation with an Annapolis drug crime lawyer who knows what’s at stake, please call 410-777-8103 or fill out this contact form.
Don’t panic if you’re facing drug charges: just Keep Calm – and Call Drew.