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A Call for Changes to Oklahoma Marijuana Possession Penalties

Taking into consideration Oklahoma’s overcrowded prisons and shrinking budgets for education and other important services, asking taxpayers to pay for the incarceration of individuals charged with simple marijuana possession certainly seems like a poor use of limited resources. Over the past decade, numerous defendants have received harsh sentences for simple possession of marijuana, while those …

Taking into consideration Oklahoma’s overcrowded prisons and shrinking budgets for education and other important services, asking taxpayers to pay for the incarceration of individuals charged with simple marijuana possession certainly seems like a poor use of limited resources. Over the past decade, numerous defendants have received harsh sentences for simple possession of marijuana, while those charged with violent offenses, like assault and battery, face equal or lesser punishment. If you are facing charges for marijuana possession or another criminal offense in Oklahoma, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center to discuss your legal options.

Drunk Drivers Face Lesser Penalties in OK

Under Oklahoma law, a first offense for simple marijuana possession is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail. A second offense for simple possession of marijuana however, is a felony, punishable by up to ten years in state prison. When compared to the first felony offense for an Oklahoma DUI, which only carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, a ten-year imprisonment for simple marijuana possession seems like an overly severe punishment. Every year, more than 200 people are killed in Oklahoma drunk driving accidents, while no deaths have been caused by marijuana possession. So why does a felony possession of marijuana in Oklahoma carry a sentence twice as long as a felony DUI?

Assault and Battery Versus Marijuana Possession

Along the same vein, the punishment for aggravated assault and battery – which is characterized by a person willfully inflicting great bodily injury on another person – only carries a punishment of up to five years in Oklahoma prison. In comparison, a person in Oklahoma charged with a felony simple possession of marijuana – a nonviolent offense that causes no harm to another person – warrants double the prison sentence. Every time someone is incarcerated for minor offenses like simple marijuana possession in Oklahoma, prisons become more and more crowded and less money is available to devote to education and other important public services.

Contact an OK Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The problems Oklahoma is facing today with overcrowded prisons and tightened budgets has brought much-needed attention to the vast difference in penalties associated with simple possession of marijuana and more severe offenses like drunk driving and aggravated assault and battery. In light of these worsening issues, Oklahoma lawmakers are being urged to take a closer look at the harsh punishment associated with simple marijuana possession, and implement a more appropriate penalty for the offense. If you are being charged with simple possession of marijuana in Oklahoma, contact our skilled criminal defense lawyers at Oklahoma Legal Center today. Our law firm is located in Oklahoma City, and our attorneys are experienced in protecting the legal rights of individuals facing penalties for drug possession.

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