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Kentucky Marijuana Law, Regulation, Penalties, Attornies & Congressman

Kentucky Marijuana Law, Regulation, Penalties, Attornies & Congressman

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

Less than 8 oz Misdemeanor 45 days $ 250

Sale or Trafficking

Less than 8 oz (first offense) Misdemeanor 1 year $ 500
Less than 8 oz (subsequent offense) Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (first offense) Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (subsequent offense) Felony 5 – 10 years $ 10,000
5 lbs or more (first offense) Felony 5 – 10 years $ 10,000
5 lbs or more (subsequent offense) Felony 10 – 20 years $ 10,000
To a minor (first offense) Felony 5 – 10 years $ 10,000
To a minor (subsequent offense) Felony 10 – 20 years $ 10,000
Within 1000 yards of a school or park Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000

Cultivation

Less than 5 plants (first offense) Misdemeanor 1 year $ 500
Less than 5 plants (subsequent offense) Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
5 plants or more (first offense) Felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
5 plants or more (subsequent offense) Felony 5 – 10 years $ 10,000

Hash & Concentrates

Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia Misdemeanor 1 year $ 500

Penalty Details

Possession

Possession of up to 8 ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 45 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250.

Possession of 8 ounces or more of marijuana shall be prima facie evidence that the person possessed the marijuana with the intent to sell or transfer it. – See Sale or Trafficking for penalties

See

  • KRS § 218A.050(3)
  • KRS § 218A.276
  • KRS § 218A.1421 & .1422

Sale or Trafficking

The sale or trafficking of less than 8 ounces is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500.

A second or subsequent offense for trafficking or selling less than 8 ounces of marijuana is a Class D felony, punishable by a sentence of 1-5 years imprisonment and a fine of not more than $10,000.

The sale or trafficking of 8 ounces- less than 5 pounds is a Class D felony which is punishable for a first offense by 1-5 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000-$10,000. A second of subsequent violation of this section is a Class C felony, punishable by a sentence of 5-10 years imprisonment and a fine of not over $10,000.

The sale or trafficking of 5 pounds or more is a Class C felony which is punishable for a first offense by a sentence of 5-10 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000-$10,000. For a second or subsequent violation of this section, the offender will be guilty of a Class B felony, which is punishable by a sentence of 10-20 years imprisonment.

The sale to a minor is a Class C felony which is punishable by a sentence of 5-10 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000-$10,000.

A subsequent conviction for the sale to a minor is a Class B felony which is punishable by a sentence of 10-20 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000-$10,000.

The sale within 1,000 yards of a school or park is a felony which is punishable by 1-5 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000-$10,000.

See

  • KRS § 218A.1401 & .1421
  • KRS §§ 532.020, .060, .090 
  • KRS §§ 534.030 & .040 

Cultivation

Cultivation of fewer than 5 plants is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of 12 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500. For a second or subsequent offense, the offender will be charged with a Class D felony, which is punishable by 1-5 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000-$10,000.

Cultivation of 5 plants or more is a Class D felony for a first offense, which is punishable by 1-5 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000-$10,000. A second or subsequent offense is a Class C felony which is punishable by 5-10 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000-$10,000.

See

  • KRS § 218A.1423
  • KRS § 532.060 & .090 

Hash & Concentrates

Hashish is listed as Schedule I hallucinogenic substance, but is punished exactly the same as marijuana infractions. See the penalties for marijuana above for further details on specific penalties.

See

  • KRS § 218A.010(21)
  • KRS § 218A.050(3) 
  • Com. v. McGinnis, 641 S.W.2d 45 (Ky. Ct. App. 1982)

Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum sentence of one year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500.

See

  • KRS § 218A.500

Miscellaneous

Prohibited activities

Unless another specific penalty is provided, any person who violates one of the following:

 

  • Trafficking in any controlled substance except as authorized by law.
  • Dispensing, prescribing, distributing, or administering any controlled substance except as authorized by law,

for a first offense, shall be guilty of a Class D felony and a Class C felony for subsequent offenses.
Any person who possesses any controlled substance except as authorized by law shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

See

  • KRS § 218A.1404 
Firearm

Any person who is convicted of any violation above who, at the time of the commission of the offense and in furtherance of the offense, was in possession of a firearm, shall:

 

  • Be penalized one (1) class more severely than provided in the penalty provision pertaining to that offense if it is a felony; or
  • Be penalized as a Class D felony if the offense would otherwise be a misdemeanor.

See

  • KRS § 218A.992
CONDITIONAL RELEASE

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual’s criminal record does not reflect the charge.

DRUGGED DRIVING

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. 

HEMP

This state has an active hemp industry or has authorized research. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other products. 

TAX STAMPS

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. 

Kentucky Drugged Driving

In Kentucky, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of any substance or combination of substances which impairs one’s driving ability. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 189A.010(1)(c),(d) (West 2009).

Implied Consent

  • Any person who operates or is in physical control of a motor vehicle or a vehicle that is not a motor vehicle in this Kentucky has given his or her consent to one (1) or more tests of his or her blood, breath, and urine, or combination thereof, for the purpose of determining alcohol concentration or presence of a substance which may impair one’s driving ability, if an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that DUI has occurred. Id. §189A.103(1).
  • When the preliminary breath test, breath test, or other evidence gives the peace officer reasonable grounds to believe there is impairment by a substance which is not subject to testing by a breath test, then blood or urine tests, or both, may be required in addition to a breath test, or in lieu of a breath test. Id. § 189A.103(5).
  • Refusal will result in revocation of driver’s license. Id.
  • If the person refuses to submit to the tests and is subsequently convicted of DUI, then offender will be subject to a mandatory minimum jail sentence which is twice as long as the mandatory minimum jail sentence imposed if he submits to the tests, and offender will be unable to obtain a hardship license. Id.
  • If the person refuses to submit to such tests the fact of this refusal may be used against him in court as evidence of violating DUI statute. Id. § 189A.105(2)(a)(1).

Penalties

  • First offense – fine of not less than two hundred dollars ($200) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500), or be imprisoned for not less than forty-eight (48) hours nor more than thirty (30) days, or both; defendant may apply to the judge for permission to enter a community labor program for not less than forty-eight (48) hours nor more than thirty (30) days in lieu of fine or imprisonment, or both. Id. § 189A.010(5)(a).
  • Second offense (w/i 5 years) – fine of not less than three hundred fifty dollars ($350) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500); offender shall be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than seven (7) days nor more than six (6) months; offender may be sentenced to community labor for not less than ten (10) days nor more than six (6) months. Id. § 189A.010(5)(b).
  • Third offense (w/i 5 years) – fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000); imprisonment in the county jail for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than twelve (12) months; offender may be sentenced to community labor for not less than ten (10) days nor more than twelve (12) months. Id. § 189A.010(5)(c). If any of the aggravating circumstances are present, the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment shall be sixty (60) days, which term shall not be suspended, probated, conditionally discharged, or subject to any other form of early release. Id.
  • Fourth or subsequent offense (w/i 5 years) Class D felony – If any of the aggravating circumstances are present, the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment shall be two hundred forty (240) days, which term shall not be suspended, probated, conditionally discharged, or subject to any other form of release. Id. § 189A.010(5)(d).

Other Penalties and Penalty Enhancers

Aggravating circumstances, which can affect sentencing, are;

  • Operating a motor vehicle in excess of thirty (30) miles per hour above the speed limit;
  • Operating a motor vehicle in the wrong direction on a limited access highway;
  • Operating a motor vehicle that causes an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury;
  • Refusing to submit to any test or tests of one’s blood, breath, or urine requested by an officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person was operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle in violation of subsection (1) of this section; and
  • Operating a motor vehicle that is transporting a passenger under the age of twelve (12) years old. Id. § 189A.010(11).

Sobriety Checkpoints

In Kentucky, law enforcement officials are entitled to carry out sobriety checkpoints under the federal constitution.

  • Roadblock at which all vehicles are stopped and officers are not given “unconstrained discretion” do not violate the constitutional rights of motorists. Evidence resulting from non-discriminatory search at DUI checkpoint was properly admitted to support convictions. Kinslow v. Commonwealth, 660 S.W.2d. 677 (1984), cert. den. 465 U.W. 1105 (1984).
  • Stop of vehicle which turned onto unpaved road prior to arrival at sobriety checkpoint was considered reasonable due to the suspicion that driver might have been engaged in criminal activity. At approximately 3:15 a.m., defendant turned onto a desolate country road. Officer testified that, historically, drivers turning onto the road before checkpoint had been impaired. Steinbeck v. Commonwealth, 862 S.W.2d 912 (1993).

Case Law

Blades v. Com., 957 S.W.2d 246 (1997) – The burden of proof required to prosecute DUI cases is no higher than standard of proof for other misdemeanor cases. Accordingly, circumstantial evidence and reasonable inferences may support a conviction.

Kentucky Hemp Law

Year Passed: 2013
Summary: Senate Bill 50, encourages state-sponsored research pertaining to the cultivation of industrial hemp and imposes regulations to allow for the plant’s licensed production as an agricultural commodity. 
Statute: Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 260.850- .869 (2014)

Kentucky Tax Stamps

Stamp
State Code §138.872
Tax Rate $3.50/gram if owner possesses 42.5 grams or more
$1000/plant if owner possesses 5 plants or more
Penalty for Nonpayment (Civil and Criminal ) 200% of Tax and Interest and Class C Felony
Additional Information
Withstood constitutional challenge on the grounds of double jeopardy in Kentucky v. Bird, 979 SW 2d 515

Kentucky Verified Marijuana / Cannabis Attorney / Lawyer

Patrick S McClure

859-236-8888

Patrick S McClure

McClure, McClure & Bailey PLLC
326 W. Main St. Suite 204

DanvilleKY40422

danvillekyattorney.com

Phone: 859-236-8888

James Shankar Hassan

859-307-5045

James Shankar Hassan

 
535 Madison Ave Suite 400

CovingtonKY 41011

www.jameshassan.com

Phone: 859-307-5045

William G Deatherage Jr.

270-886-6800

William G Deatherage

Deatherage, Myers & Lackey, PLLC
701 South Main Street P. O. Box 1065

HopkinsvilleKY 42241

www.dmlfirm.com

Phone: 270-886-6800

Joe Suhre

513-333-0014

Joe  Suhre

Suhre & Associates, LLC
333 W. Vine St.

LexingtonKY 40507

www.suhrelaw.com

Phone: 513-333-0014

Mark D Chandler

502-589-6190

Mark D Chandler

 
600 West Main Street Suite 300

LouisvilleKY 40202

www.kentuckymarijuanadefense.com

Phone: 502-589-6190

Anthony Craig Gadlage

502-553-7206

Anthony Craig Gadlage

 
436 S. 7th Street Suite 100

LouisvilleKY 40203

Phone: 502-553-7206
 

 Kentucky Congressman

Senators

 

Rand Paul (R)

KENTUCKY

 

Grade: B+

Votes

 

Cosponsor

*SB 683 – CARERS
*S 134 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015
*S 1726 Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act of 2015

Comments

“he was more focused on decriminalizing pot so that people wouldn’t do hard prison time for drug offenses” “You said you’re for states’ rights. Do you support, if you were President Paul, do you support allowing Colorado to go forward with what it has, or would you use federal powers against the [retail marijuana] system that we have?” Paul: “Yeah, I wouldn’t interfere from the federal level.” (Link)

 

Mitch McConnell (R)

KENTUCKY

 

Grade: F

Votes

 

Cosponsor

*S 134 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015

Comments

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that he is firmly “against legalizing marijuana,” putting him at odds with his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. Although McConnell noted that marijuana is “not in the same category as heroin,” he cautioned during an interview with a Kentucky radio station that legalizing the drug could “completely transform your society in a way that I think certainly most Kentuckians would not agree with.” “I don’t think an answer to this, honestly, is to go in a direction of legalizing any of these currently illegal drugs,” McConnell said, according to a report in Roll Call. “This whole movement in various parts of the country is a big mistake.”

 
 

House of Representatives

 

Thomas Massie (R)

KENTUCKY

 

Grade: B+

Votes

 

Cosponsor

*H.R. 1940: Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2015
*H.R. 1635 Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015
H.R. 667 Veterans Equal Access Act
H.R. 1538 CARERS Act of 2015

 

John Yarmuth (D)

KENTUCKY

 

 Grade: B

Votes

 

Cosponsor

*H.R. 525 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015
*H.R. 1635 Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015

 

Andy Barr (R)

KENTUCKY

 

Grade: D

Votes

 

Cosponsor

*H.R. 525 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015
*H.R. 1635 Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2015

 

Brett Guthrie (R)

KENTUCKY

 

Grade: D

Votes

 

No sponsorships or comments

 

Hal Rogers (R)

KENTUCKY

 

Grade: D

Votes

 

No sponsorships or comments

 

Ed Whitfield (R)

KENTUCKY

 

Grade: D

Votes

 

Cosponsor

H.R. 525 Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015