Marijuana possession arrests increasing in the US

More than two times the number of people were arrested for marijuana possession in 2012 than 1991.

While people's attitudes about marijuana have shifted across the country - including marked changes in the federal government's approach to drug crimes - recent data has shown such changes have not made much difference among law enforcement agencies.

According to a report released by the Washington Post, more than two times the number of people faced arrest for marijuana possession in recent years compared to in 1991.

From 1991 to 2012, the number of people arrested for crimes across the country fell. During the same period, the percentage of those arrests that were for marijuana possession tripled, according to the Washington Post.

In all, law enforcement officers arrested 658,000 people for marijuana possession in 2012. Those arrests made up 42 percent of the total drug arrests in the country that year. In addition, they accounted for 5.4 percent of arrests for any crime in the United States.

In Tennessee, 5.1 percent of all arrests in the state were for marijuana possession in 2012.

Fight marijuana possession charges in Tennessee

When someone is arrested for marijuana possession in Tennessee, the consequences can be serious. The severity of the penalties depends on whether an individual has prior convictions.

If an individual is found in possession of one-half ounce of marijuana or less and has no prior convictions, he or she can face misdemeanor charges. Upon conviction, a mandatory fine of $250 will be imposed. In addition, the individual could face up to one year in jail. The potential jail sentence is the same if an individual is convicted of marijuana possession for a second time in Tennessee; however, the fine increases to $500.

Upon a third charge of marijuana possession in Tennessee, an individual can face felony charges. If convicted, he or she will receive a mandatory fine of $1,000. In addition, he or she could face between one and six years in jail.

The penalties are harsher if an individual is found in possession of more than half an ounce of marijuana. In such cases, he or she can face charges of possession with intent to distribute. The potential penalties vary depending on the amount of the drug found in the individual's possession.

Whether you or someone you love is facing marijuana charges in Tennessee, prompt action should be taken to fight those charges and mount a strong defense. In such situations, it is a wise choice to take your case to a skilled criminal defense attorney, who will work on your behalf to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.

Keywords: Tennessee, marijuana, possession