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How screwed would the weed-smoking grandmas be in another state?

Don’t put Nana in jail, please.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Puff, puff, pass, and a nice cup of tea.

A new video of three grandmas smoking weed in Washington state, where the drug is now legal, has over 5 million views and a lot of people laughing along with the older ladies.

The grandmas smoke—“I think I inhaled a lot!”—eat snacks and play games. It’s adorable.

Best of all, the grandmas will not be going to jail or paying a fine for their good time. It’s enjoyment without the paranoia.

The question is, how totally f**ked would these weed-smoking grandmas be if they were in a different state where marijuana is illegal?

It’s important to remember that most of these sentences are flexible, and lovely grandmothers might not have the book thrown at them. Still, we’ve included the maximum penalty so that you know how severe the law can be in each state. Add on the fact that many states have harsh laws for paraphernalia—the bong and vaporizer they smoke out of—and you’ve got grandma facing some potentially high penalties.  

There’s also the matter of how much pot they have. So in the interest of simplicity, let’s assume the ladies have less than an ounce of weed—about 28 grams, the amount often defined as the cut-off point for less severe penalties.

Alabama: They’d face a fine of up to $6,000 each, up to one year in prison, a suspended driver’s license for six months. The bong and vaporizer could add another year in prison. Bad grandmas!

Alaska: Voters approved legalization on Election Day, but the law won’t go into effect for months. Today, the grandmas could face up to 90 days in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Arizona: The grandmas could be charged with a felony and face up to two years in prison for the weed alone. Add on the paraphernalia and they could face four months to two years more locked up.

Arkansas: If this is the grandmas’ first offense, they face a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. If they’ve been in trouble before, the potential punishment skyrockets up to six years and $10,000. The bong and vaporizer can add another one year onto the sentence.

California: A $100 fine is the only trouble they’d run into—but that’s money for the next bag of chips! For having a bong and vaporizer, they’d get, I don’t know, a high five from their neighbors.

Colorado: The drug is legal here, so they’d probably just end up playing Jenga.

Connecticut: The punishment depends on the exact amount of marijuana the grandmas have. If it’s less than half an ounce, they’ll be let off with a fine. If it’s more, they’re facing a year or more in prison and a fine of over $1,000. The paraphernalia can add up to a three-month jail sentence and $500 fine.

Delaware: Any amount of marijuana can land you six months in jail and a $1,150 fine. Somehow, Delaware law says the use of paraphernalia is even worse and subject to a full year of jail and a $2,300 fine.

Florida: If they’re packing an ounce, the grandmas face a felony charge, five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Slightly less—20 grams—bumps things down to a misdemeanor and “only” one year in jail. Possession of paraphernalia could add another year onto the sentence.

Georgia: The Peach State can put grandma away for a full year and tack on a $1,000 fine. The paraphernalia adds another year and $1,000 fine to pay as well.

Hawaii: The ladies may face up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for smoking. The use of the bong and vaporizer is much worse in the eyes of Hawaii law, bringing in a potential five-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine. Is the goal to make grandma eat it rather than smoke it?

Idaho: The law says the grandmas can go away for a year on the weed charges and a year on the paraphernalia charges, plus twin $1,000 fines.

Illinois: Up to 30 days in jail for the weed and one year for paraphernalia.

Indiana: A full year in prison and $5,000 fine for marijuana possession can be compounded by a $10,000 fine for paraphernalia.

Iowa: The Hawkeye State prosecutes on a suspects number of offenses, not on the amount of pot she has. So, if this is grandma’s first charge, she faces six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. She can face doubling prison sentences for each offense after that, plus six more months in jail for paraphernalia.

Kansas: For the weed and bong, up to two years in prison and $5,000 in fines await the giddy grandmas.

Kentucky: Kentucky could put the grandmas away for up to 45 days but, like other states, the paraphernalia charge could add up to one year behind bars.

Louisiana: This state stands out from the rest. Most other jurisdictions have a line at about one ounce: If you’re below it, the punishment drops significantly, but if you have more marijuana than that, you could be in jail for a while. For Louisiana, the line is 60 pounds, which we can safely assume grandma does not have. If this is grandma’s first offense, she faces six months in prison. Do it again, however, and the punishment skyrockets to five years, then twenty years. 

Yes, if you’re wondering, someone could get busted smoking weed three times in Louisiana and end up in jail for two decades.

Maine: Grandma would only have a civil violation here and up to $900 in fines.

Maryland: If grandma has over 10 grams, she could face up to a year in prison plus another year for paraphernalia possession.

Massachusetts: Grandma will face a small fine for marijuana possession, but the paraphernalia could mean up to two years in jail.

Michigan: Possession of any amount can be punished by a year in jail plus 90 days for the paraphernalia.

Minnesota: No jail, a small fine of $250 for the weed and $300 for the bong and vaporizer.

Mississippi: If this is grandma’s first offense, she faces a small fine for the weed and six months in jail for the paraphernalia. If she is a repeat offender, she could be in jail for as much as six months.

Missouri: Grandma faces a year in prison for weed and another for paraphernalia, plus fines of $1,000 for each.

Montana: This is grandma’s first time, so she may only go to jail for six months for the weed and another six for paraphernalia. Let’s hope they’re concurrent sentences for her sake. She’ll also have to attend a drug education course.

Nebraska: For her first offense, she’ll pay a $300 fine for the weed and $100 for the paraphernalia.

Nevada: No jail time for the marijuana, but potentially six months for the bong and up to $1,600 in fines.

New Hampshire: Don’t get caught, grandma. You face one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for the weed—double all that for the paraphernalia.

New Jersey: The Garden State doesn’t quite live up to its name. Grandma can serve six months in prison for marijuana charges and another six months for paraphernalia.

New Mexico: Grandma faces 15 days in jail and a $100 fine for her first offense possessing weed. As with so many other states, however, the paraphernalia can land her a sentence of up to a year.

New York: The Empire State isn’t putting grandma in jail for the weed, but they are charging a $100 fine. The paraphernalia, on the other hand, could be met with up to a year behind bars.

North Carolina: No jail for the weed, but paraphernalia could mean 45 days in a dank cell.

North Dakota: Grandma faces misdemeanor charges and 30 days in jail for the weed but up to a year for the paraphernalia.

Ohio: No jail for the weed or paraphernalia, only up to $300 in fines total.

Oklahoma: The first offense can land grandma in jail for two years here, one for possession and one for paraphernalia.

Oregon: Voters chose to legalize the drug this November, but the law doesn’t take effect until July 2015. So, if grandma was caught now, there’s a $650 fine that could hit her purse.

Pennsylvania: Grandma faces 30 days in prison for the pot and a year for the paraphernalia.

Rhode Island: No jail and a small fine of $150.

South Carolina: A first offense could land grandma 30 days in jail.

South Dakota: Don’t get caught here, nana. Penalties can go up to a year behind bars.

Tennessee: If grandma has more than half an ounce, she’s facing one to six years in prison.

Texas: Grandma will face misdemeanor charges and 180 days in jail.

Utah: Six months in jail just for eating snacks and playing Jenga, what a state!

Vermont: No jail and a fine of just $200, plus maybe the police give you complementary maple syrup when they catch you. It’s possible.

Virginia: If grandma has more than half an ounce, she faces felony charges and up to ten years in prison. How’s that for a war on drugs?

Washington: It’s legal here, so grandma is free to play board games and stoned-knit to her heart’s content.

Washington D.C.: Today, they’d face a $25 fine. Voters chose to legalize the drug, however, and when that goes into effect, the fine will fade—so don’t get caught yet, grandma.

West Virginia: Grandma has to deal with misdemeanor charges and up to six months in jail.

Wisconsin: If this is grandma’s first offense, she faces six months in jail. If it’s her second, 3.5 years.

Wyoming: She faces up to a full year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Of course, despite the U.S. Department of Justice’s lax enforcement in legal states, federal law prohibiting marijuana still applies across all 50 states.

“It is important to recognize that these state marijuana laws do not change the fact that using marijuana continues to be an offense under Federal law,” according to the White House website. “Nor do these state laws change the criteria or process for FDA approval of safe and effective medications.”

If the grandmas were caught on federal property with their goods, they face a misdemeanor charge, up to one year in jail, and a $1,000 fine for the pot. The bong and vaporizer, however, lands them with a felony on their wrap sheet and three years behind bars.

Happy toking!

Photo via Cut Video/YouTube

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The Daily Dot