While laws around marijuana use are changing for the better, Montana cannabis policy remains stuck in the Stone Age. The state currently has some of the harshest laws and marijuana penalties in the country.
If you’re caught in possession of any amount of pot, even a small amount for personal use, you will be treated as a criminal. In Montana, there have been no efforts to legalize or decriminalize marijuana.
Possessing 60 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100 to $500 and a maximum sentence of six months’ imprisonment. The second or subsequent offense attracts a $1,000 fine and a sentence of up to three years in prison. Being in possession of 60 grams or more is a felony is punishable by a maximum fine of $50,000 and a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.
Possession of any amount of marijuana with intent to sell or distribute is a felony that is punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. Distributing any amount of cannabis, with or without gaining compensation, attracts a mandatory minimum sentence of one year and a maximum sentence of life in jail and a maximum fine of $50,000.
Distributing any amount of marijuana, with or without gaining compensation, attracts a mandatory minimum sentence of two years’ incarceration and a maximum fine of $50,000. Marijuana penalties in Montana significantly increase with each subsequent conviction.
Distributing any amount of cannabis, with or without gaining compensation, within 1,000 feet of a learning institution is a felony that attracts a minimum mandatory sentence of three years and a maximum of a lifetime in jail as well as a maximum fine of $50,000.
Cultivation of 30 plants or up to one pound is a felony and may be punished with a fine of up to $50,000 and a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Growing more than 30 plants or one pound attracts a fine of up to $50,000 and jail time between two years and life imprisonment. A second or subsequent conviction for marijuana cultivation attracts twice the set fine and twice the term of imprisonment as the first offense.
However, registered patients are allowed to possess a maximum of four mature plants, twelve seedlings and one ounce of usable medical marijuana. Providers may possess four mature plants, twelve seedlings and one ounce of usable medical marijuana for each registered patient who has designated the person or entity as the patient’s provider.
Montana issues marijuana ID cards, allowing qualified patients to use cannabis legally. To become a patient, individuals must obtain a recommendation from a medical doctor or a doctor of osteopathic medicine.
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Updated on January 3, 2019