Tennessee Marijuana Crime Defense Lawyers


Marijuana has several names including cannabis, ganja, and weed and is consumed in a variety of forms, such as hashish, kief, oil, and resin. The possession, cultivation, or distribution of marijuana is illegal in Tennessee and is classified as a Schedule VI controlled substance. Punishments for marijuana possession, cultivation or distribution vary depending on the amount found in the possession of the defendant. Consequences can include several years in prison, steep fines, supervised release and restitution.

If you have been charged with possession, cultivation or distribution of marijuana, you will want an experienced marijuana offense attorney who has the knowledge and skill to mount a strong defense to the prosecution's case against you. We are knowledgeable in both federal and state drug laws and have a proven track record of success in defending clients against drug-related charges.

Simple Possession, Casual Exchange, or Minimal Distribution of Marijuana

Under T.C.A. § 39-17-418, it is an offense for a person to knowingly possess or casually exchange marijuana, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or physician's order. Moreover, it is an offense for a person to distribute a small amount of marijuana not in excess of one-half ounce (14.175 grams). If the possession is greater than this amount, then the defendant may be charged with a felony offense as described below.

Marijuana possession can be either actual or constructive. A person who knowingly has direct physical control over marijuana at a given time is in actual possession of it. On the other hand, a person who does not have actual possession but knowingly has both the power and intention at any given time to exercise dominion and control over the marijuana is in constructive possession of it. For example, a jury could infer that a homeowner is in constructive possession of marijuana when, upon investigation, there is found to be marijuana stored in a shoe box in the homeowner's closet.

With regard to casual exchange, courts allow an inference for possession without intent to sell, distribute or cultivate when there is only a relatively small amount of the controlled substance in the defendant's possession. To qualify as a casual exchange, the exchange can either be a gift or a transfer of possession in consideration for something else in return. The "casual" aspect of casual exchange means that the exchange did not involve the transfer of money.

Simple possession, casual exchange, or minimal distribution of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor for the first two convictions. A Class A misdemeanor conviction carries a conviction of no greater than a year in jail and no more than a $2,500 fine, unless the casual exchange was between a minor and an adult who is at least two years older than the minor. Where the exchange was with a minor, the crime is classified as a felony, which carries longer prison sentences and steeper fines. Moreover, a person convicted of possession of marijuana on two prior occasions, commits a felony on the third conviction.

Sale, Delivery or Cultivation of Marijuana

Under T.C.A. § 39-17-417, it is an offense for a person to knowingly sell, deliver or cultivate marijuana. The code also provides that it is a crime to possess marijuana with intent to sell, deliver or cultivate the substance. Under the law, jurors are permitted to infer intent to sell, deliver, or cultivate marijuana from the facts and circumstances of the case along with the amount of controlled substance found in the defendant's possession.

Since marijuana is listed as a Schedule VI drug, a conviction under subsection 417 is classified as a Class E felony if the amount of leafy material involved was no less than one-half ounce (14.175 grams) and no more than ten pounds. The same is true for non-leafy, resinous material (such as hashish) if the amount involved was no more than two pounds (905 grams). Amounts greater than these limits result in longer prison terms and steeper fines.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

If you have been charged with a drug crime involving marijuana or any other controlled substance, the Knoxville marijuana crime attorneys at Baker Associates, will diligently protect your rights.

Additional Drug Crime Information

Complete the form below if you have been charged with possessing, selling, or cultivating marijuana. An attorney at our office will contact you soon.

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Knoxville Drug Offense Attorney Disclaimer: The marijuana possession, drug crime, or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a lawyer at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.

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