In Utah, Possession of an Ounce or More of Marijuana Is a Third Degree Felony Charge

Court Koehler:  If you have a large quantity, let’s say if it’s marijuana, if it’s over maybe let’s say even an ounce or more they are probably going to try to charge you with distribution.  The penalties in general would be higher if it’s over an ounce.  It’s a third degree felony if it’s over an ounce.

With marijuana, because there are so many cases, it’s a well-treaded path and it’s much easier for judges and prosecutors to tell whether we are dealing with a quantity that could be something in connection with dealing it or just personal use.

Whereas when you have OxyContin or a similar drug, maybe you have five pills.  You could be selling it; it’s not really that much.  Marijuana cases have an established basic outline.

How Can Paraphernalia Possession Reinforce the Intent to Distribute Charge?

Most of the time, the intent to distribute charges are based on the quantity you have in your possession. There can be other factors that support this charge that lend to a suggestion that you are intending to distribute.  For instance, if you have an eighth of an ounce, it’s not very much, but if you have a scale that would suggest that you are weighing it, that might end up giving you the intent to distribute charge as well.  There can be other sorts of implements or evidence.

Paraphernalia Charges Usually Accompany Other Marijuana-Related Charges

Interviewer: Will there commonly be a paraphernalia charge that accompanies a marijuana charge?

Court Koehler:  Almost always because you are going to see a pipe or other implement and the officer is definitely going to write that down and they are going to charge you.  It’s pretty common to see that charge added on.

Will the State of Utah Recognize a Medical Marijuana Prescription from Another State?

Interviewer: Marijuana is not legal in Utah but in other states it is.  Will Utah recognize your prescription from other states?

Court Koehler: Yes, they will recognize a prescription for a drug that is legal here as well.  Now, you can’t bring marijuana into Utah just because you have a prescription for it somewhere else but a drug like Xanax that is legal here and you have a prescription, is okay.  Marijuana is not legal here.

By Court Koehler

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