Updated on January 31, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
North Dakota has relatively harsh marijuana laws. In fact, first-time offenders found with a small quantity of marijuana could spend up to 12 months in jail and pay a $2,000 fine.
The state legislature is currently considering a bill that will approve medical marijuana and help those who are suffering from seizures, chronic pain and other ailments. However, before the new bill is passed into law, it is important to know the penalties attached to possession, use, cultivation and sale of marijuana in North Dakota.
Holding an ounce or less of marijuana attracts a fine of $1,000 and a maximum 30-day jail term. If the offender does not commit the same crime within the next two years, the court will seal the conviction if it was their first time. A person found with more than one ounce of marijuana but not more than 500g is subject to a five-year prison sentence and a fine of $10,000.
If the amount of marijuana found on a person is 500g or greater, the offense is punishable by a jail term of 10 years and a maximum fine of $20,000. An individual found with marijuana within a thousand feet of a school or educational institution is subject to 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine.
Selling any quantity of marijuana in North Dakota is a felony punishable by ten years in jail and a $20,000 fine. For second-time offenders, the minimum jail term is three years. A third offense attracts a minimum jail sentence of ten years. If the sale occurs within 1,000 feet of a school building, the offense is punishable by a fine of $20,000 and a jail sentence of 20 years.
In North Dakota, cultivation of marijuana is punished based on the total weight of all the plants being cultivated. The penalties for growing marijuana are assigned based on the same penalties stated for possession of a specific quantity of the drug.
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