Is Marijuana Possession a Crime in North Dakota?

More and more states are lessening – or eliminating – their laws against marijuana possession for personal use. 15 states have legalized all forms of cannabis for recreational and medical use, and neighboring South Dakota recently voted to legalize both uses of marijuana. But has North Dakota jumped on the cannabis legalization reform wave yet, and if so, how comprehensive is it? It’s complicated, and it’s important to recognize the state of marijuana possession laws in North Dakota.

Understanding North Dakota Marijuana Laws

Though cannabis use and possession have not been fully legalized in North Dakota, it has been somewhat decriminalized. In May 2019, Republican Governor Doug Burgum signed into law HB 1050, a bill that eliminates jail time for possession of marijuana paraphernalia and up to 14 grams of cannabis. That said, this only applies to first-time offenders, and these offenders could still be subjected to a fine of up to $1,000.  After that the fines increase.

If you want to legally possess marijuana in North Dakota, you’ll have to be 19 or older and register for the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, which legalizes possession of up to three ounces of marijuana for eligible patients. The program currently encompasses a long list of qualifying conditions, so make sure whatever physical or mental health condition you suffer is eligible for an MMJ card. 

However, marijuana possession for personal use or without a medical card is still very much against the law. The following are some penalties you could face if you are convicted of marijuana possession:

  • Possessing less than 1/2 ounce = $1,000 fine
  • Possessing 1/2 ounce to 500 grams = Misdemeanor charge, $1,500 fine, and up to 30 days in jail
  • Possessing more than 500 grams = Misdemeanor charge, $3,000 fine, and up to one year in jail

Let a Fargo Criminal Defense Lawyer Review Your Case

If you’re facing charges related to marijuana possession, seek legal defense with a Fargo criminal defense attorney you can trust. With defense lawyer Tatum O’Brien in your corner, you can rest assured that your case is being met with the best possible defense and guidance. Email her directly or give the O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss team a call (701-235-8000, 877-235-8002 toll-free) for a free initial case evaluation today. Don’t wait – let us start working to protect your rights and your future. 

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