In most cases, you cannot legally give someone marijuana as a gift in Virginia. Virginia Code §18.2-248.1 makes it a crime to give someone else marijuana unless you are authorized to do so by the Drug Control Act.
What Is a Gift?
When you gift someone marijuana, you do not take payment or any other form of consideration in exchange for it. Instead, you provide the marijuana to someone without receiving anything in exchange for it.
Potential Penalties for Gifting Marijuana
Generally, Virginia Code §18.2-248.1 imposes the following penalties for violating the statute:
- Up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, or both prison time and a fine if not more than one ounce of marijuana was involved.
- Up to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, or both prison time and a fine if more than one ounce, but not more than five pounds of marijuana was involved.
- Five to 30 years in prison if more than five pounds of marijuana was involved.
However, if you gave marijuana to someone else to accommodate that person, and not to profit from it or encourage the person to become addicted to or dependent on marijuana, then the penalties described above do not apply.
Instead of the typical charges for distributing marijuana, you may face:
- Up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, or both prison time and a fine.
- Two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 if you gifted marijuana to an inmate or someone in custody at a local or state correctional facility.
Additionally, if you manufacture marijuana not for your own use, then you may face felony charges with a potential prison sentence of five to thirty years and a fine of up to $10,000.
You could also face additional jail time and fines if you are convicted of committing a felony pursuant to Virginia Code §18.2-248.1 for a third or subsequent time. Then, the Commonwealth of Virginia may seek a sentence of five years to life in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
Now Is the Time to Defend Yourself
Even though you were giving a gift, your freedom is at stake if you’ve been charged with a crime. Contact our experienced Fairfax drug defense attorneys today to make sure that your rights are protected. We would be happy to offer you a free initial consultation.