What Does Law Enforcement Consider “Marijuana” in Virginia?

In Virginia, Marijuana possession is a crime.  Although many states in the U.S. are relaxing the criminal status of the plant, defendants charged with possession in Virginia face legal consequences.  A question that may sometimes arise amongst those charged with marijuana possession is, “whether the government can charge them with a crime if the alleged marijuana was merely a stem, a seed, or a very small dusting of a larger bud?”  The answer to this question lies deep within the Virginia statutes.  Remember, your Norfolk Possession Attorney is best equipped to provide you with an analysis of the law as it relates to the facts of your case. 

Virginia Code § 18.2-247 provides the definition of what is considered “marijuana” for purposes of the criminal law.  The statute refers to the term as including “any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, its seeds or resin; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation . . . “But note that “hash” is considered a separate drug for purposes of the drug laws in Virginia.  Bookmark our page now, as informative new articles on the legal status of hash and other drugs will be posted soon. The aforementioned statute goes on to state, “Marijuana shall not include any oily extract containing one or more cannabinoids unless [the extract] contains less than 12 percent [THC].   But, also note that the term “marijuana” does not include “mature stalks of [the plant] . . .” 

If charged with a drug-related offense, the type of drug involved is a key fact. Your trusted Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer recently expounded upon the categorization of drugs; “[s]chedule I drugs have the highest potential for abuse, while schedule V drugs have the lowest.  For example, Heroin is a schedule I drug, whereas codeine based cough syrup is a schedule V drug.” In case you missed that article, you can read it here.  As you may expect, harsher penalties usually exist for crimes related to drugs with a higher abuse potential.  

Statutes can be confusing.  Often times, important rules related to criminal law and procedure are developed through case law. A firm understanding of recent case law and the applicable statutes is desirable when searching for the best attorney.  You can trust your local Virginia Beach and Norfolk Criminal Defense Lawyer to work with you to pursue every defense theory available.  To find out which theories are available, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation.