Monday, July 30, 2012
Caught with a Joint? You can get more time for the paper than for the pot.
Seriously. Apparently the Kentucky legislature believes that rolling papers are more dangerous than marijuana. Far be it from me to act like I know more than the Kentucky legislature, but I think maybe they didn't follow the advice of the learned Tom Simms and "mow the front yard first" on this one.*
The definition of “Paraphernalia” is broad. To say the least. We’ll skip a lot of the fluff and concentrate on what’s important for today:
“all equipment, products and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this chapter.
It includes but is not limited to:
(a) Kits used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, or harvesting of any species of plant which is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance can be derived;
(g) Separation gins and sifters used, intended for use, or designed for use in removing twigs and seeds from, or in otherwise cleaning or refining marijuana;
(l) Objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil into the human body, such as: metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls; water pipes; carburetion tubes and devices; smoking and carburetion masks; roach clips which mean objects used to hold burning material, such as marijuana cigarettes, that have become too small or too short to be held in the hand; miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials; chamber pipes; carburetor pipes; electric pipes; air-driven pipes; chillums; bongs; ice pipes or chillers.
(5) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
I’ve left out the majority of other types of paraphernalia that are typically associated with other controlled substances (for example, syringes) in order to highlight the topic of marijuana paraphernalia. Notice that possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor. That means that the offense carries a punishment of up to one year in jail.
Now let’s move on to possession of marijuana. KRS 218A.1422 governs possession, and reads:
(1) A person is guilty of possession of marijuana when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana.
(2) Possession of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, except that, KRS Chapter 532 to the contrary notwithstanding, the maximum term of incarceration shall be no greater than forty-five (45) days.
As you can see, possession of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor – which normally carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail. However, the beautiful relief of House Bill 463 came through in June of 2011 like sweet summer rain and decriminalized marijuana from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B misdemeanor with a 45 day jail cap.
So, let’s say you 2 friends are standing on the corner in the highlands. “Tony” holds a fistful of marijuana – about 8 grams. “Nick” holds a joint – about a gram of marijuana rolled up in a rolling paper. Although Tony has more smokable marijuana on his person, Nick is actually committing the more serious crime, a Class A misdemeanor.
Ridiculous, huh? I thought so too.
If you have been charged with a marijuana offense in Louisville, Lexington, Elizabethtown, Frankfort or the surrounding areas, you should contact a lawyer. For a free consultation with a Louisville controlled substance lawyer, call 502.618.4949 and talk to Greg Simms today.
Simms & Reed, PLLC. Results. As fast as the law will allow.
*Not to be confused with my father's advice to us on our first day of kindergarten, "Prior planning prevents piss poor performance."