Maryland has categorized Marijuana as a Schedule I drug, in the subsection containing “Hallucinogens.” See Md. Code Ann., Criminal Law, § 5-402(d)(1)(vii). In the State, “Marijuana” is defined by the law to include the following:
- all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether or not the plant is growing;
- the seeds of the plant;
- the resin extracted from the plant; and
- each compound, manufactured product, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its resin.
However, “Marijuana” does not include the following:
- the mature stalks of the plant;
- fiber produced from the mature stalks;
- oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant;
- except for resin, any other compound, manufactured product, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, fiber, oil, or cake; or
- the sterilized seed of the plant that is incapable of germination.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“the Department”) has classified Marijuana as a Schedule I drug because it believes that there is (1) a high potential for abuse of the substance; (2) there is no accepted medical use in the United States for the substance; and (3) there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the substance under medical supervision. See Md. Code Ann., Criminal Law, § 5-402(g).
In Maryland, it is a crime to possess Marijuana, as defined above. See Md. Code Ann., Criminal Law, § 5-601. Conviction for this crime carries with it a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a fine not exceeding $ 1,000 or both.
If a defendant is accused of “Possessing” Marijuana in Maryland, the State is required to prove that the defendant had actual or constructive dominion or control over the Marijuana, including knowledge of its presence.
Maryland does not permit the possession of Marijuana for medical reasons, even if proscribed by a physician. As a result, MARYLAND DOES NOT HAVE A MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW. Maryland, however, does permit a person who is being prosecuted for the use or possession of Marijuana to introduce and the court to consider any evidence of medical necessity. Upon conviction of the crime of Marijuana possession, the maximum fine the Court may impose on the defendant is a fine of no more than $ 100. See Md. Code Ann., Criminal Law, § 5-601(c).
As a result, this statute does not prevent the Court from entering a finding of guilt against a defendant, even if he or she has a legitimate medical necessity for possessing the Marijuana.