“Marijuana use is roughly equal among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession,” according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). That is the figure for the country as a whole; in Mississippi, it is 2.7 times more likely.

With 43% of all 2018 drug busts being for marijuana, it is clear that many black citizens are being criminalized for marijuana possession. Mississippi has decriminalized first-time offenders caught in possession of fewer than 30 grams. However, if the police catch you again, or if you have more than 30 grams, or are convicted of selling it, you will face jail time and a criminal record.

There are various defenses you could use if charged with marijuana possession:

  • Illegal search: Police must follow specific procedures to stop and search you, although there are exceptions.
  • Not your drugs: Just because the drugs were in your car, does not mean they were yours. You could argue they belonged to someone else who had traveled in your vehicle.
  • A set up: If someone planted the drugs, or used entrapment to entice you to acquire them.
  • Medical usage: While moves to allow the medical use of marijuana in the state have so far failed, they may succeed at some point.

If you face charges of marijuana possession in Mississippi, seek legal help from a criminal defense attorney. While this will not solve the racial inequality of possession charges, it may save your future.