Do the Police weigh stems and seeds of the marijuana plant?

The simple answer is yes, the police will weigh the entire contents of the bag or bundle of marijuana including stems, seeds, stalks and buds.  However, the police officer may not realize that not all of the marijuana plant is illegal.

Is the entire marijuana plant illegal?

No, the entire marijuana plant is not illegal, only certain specified parts of the plant are illegal.  It is important to know which parts of the plant are actually illegal under the definition of marijuana under Maryland law.  An inexperienced police officer may take a bag of marijuana and have it weighed without considering that some of the contents are not actually marijuana at all.

Why weight matters:

For instance, a bag or bundle containing marijuana may include mature stalks.  The police will weigh the bundle including the stalks and the police use the weight to determine which variety of the Maryland marijuana law to charge you with.  There are different penalties for possessing less than 10 grams, possession of 10 grams to 50 pounds and possession of 50 pounds or more.  If you face charges that include the weight or amount of marijuana you should have an experienced attorney investigate whether the police weighed the bag or packing material.  Whether the police or lab technician sorted through the plant matter to remove the stalks and whether the plant matter was wet or dry when it was weighed.   Usually stems on the buds and seeds are weighed and counted toward the total weight.

 Which parts of the marijuana plant are illegal?

Under the law marijuana is very specifically defined. In Maryland the definition is in the Maryland Law Criminal Law Code section 5-101(r)

In that section Marijuana means

(i) all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether or not the plant is growing;

(ii) the seeds of the plant;

(iii) the resin extracted from the plant; and

(iv) each compound, manufactured product, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its resin.

However, that section also excludes certain parts of the plant in that section Marijuana does not include:

(i) the mature stalks of the plant;

(ii) fiber produced from the mature stalks;

(iii) oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant;

(iv) except for resin, any other compound, manufactured product, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, fiber, oil, or cake; or

(v) the sterilized seed of the plant that is incapable of germination.

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