While the state of Maine has legalized marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use, that does not mean that it's legal for anyone to consume. The law still prohibits underage use of marijuana, and minors can face criminal charges if they are found in possession of the drug or using it.
Minors and Marijuana Possession
One of the biggest exceptions to Maine's law allowing recreational marijuana is that it only applies to adults over the age of 21. People under 21 can still get arrested and charged for illegal possession of marijuana even though Maine allows the drug to be used recreationally.
Minors can also face criminal charges in Maine for transporting marijuana under Maine Statute 22 § 2389. While transporting marijuana may sound like just a particular instance of possessing marijuana, it can also include a wider range of conduct.
Most importantly, minors can get arrested and charged with transporting marijuana if they are driving a car and a passenger in the car is in possession of marijuana. In these cases, the minor driver will not be in possession of the marijuana him or herself – in fact, the minor driver may not even know about the drug's presence – but could still face charges for transporting it.
Minors can also be arrested for possessing paraphernalia associated with marijuana use, like:
- Roach clips
While Maine's recreational marijuana law allows adults to have these objects, minors are still prohibited from using them or even having them.
Sharing Marijuana with a Minor in Maine
Minors are not the only people who can get into legal trouble when someone underage has or uses marijuana. Adults can also face criminal charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor if he or she shares marijuana with a minor or allows someone underage to use the drug.
Maine Penalties for Minors
The penalties for a marijuana crime have dropped dramatically in recent years. At this point, most drug crimes involving marijuana – not counting those that involve enough marijuana to create an intent to sell – are civil infractions that are only punishable with a fine.
However, minors accused of marijuana offenses may face traditional repercussions of a criminal conviction like fines and jail time and also, as a result, face a blemish on their criminal records that can seriously undermine their futures. The cost of a criminal conviction involving marijuana goes well beyond the fine. It can impact a young person's college prospects and financial aid and can put a blemish on their professional reputation even before it gets started.
Reach Out to WTB Law for Effective Defense
The criminal defense legal team at WTB Law knows how trivial these charges look and understands how serious they really are. Young Mainers admit to marijuana charges all the time thinking that it's just an unfortunate fine, only to deal with the repercussions of having a criminal history for years.
At WTB Law, we help fight for your rights and protect your future. Contact us online or call our law office at (207) 571-8146.