A drug possession charge in Oklahoma is referred to “Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance” or “Possession of CDS.” Possession of a small amount of drugs is often referred to as “simple” possession. When someone is charged with simple possession, the belief is that they possessed drugs only for personal use. The person caught with drugs didn’t have an intent to distribute nor were they trafficking. The law that will be applied to determine punishment will be the version in effect on the date the offense happened. This article also discusses the crime of endeavoring to commit a drug offense, which is usually endeavoring to possess CDS.
Definition of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in Oklahoma
A “Controlled dangerous substance” (CDS) in Oklahoma is a drug, substance, or immediate precursor in Schedules I through V of Oklahoma’s Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act or any drug, substance, or immediate precursor listed either temporarily or permanently as a federally controlled substance. Any conflict between Oklahoma and federal law with regard to the particular schedule in which a substance is listed is resolved in favor of Oklahoma law. Federally controlled substance are found here.
Penalty For Drug Possession In Oklahoma
The unlawful (simple) possession of any CDS is a misdemeanor. The maximum time in jail is one year, and the maximum fine is $1,000. There will be no difference in the maximum penalty based on how many times someone has violated that statute. So, for example, someone could get caught with possession of a small amount of meth 20 times, and that individual would be charged with a misdemeanor for each of those 20 cases. Possession in the presence of a child or near a school is no longer be taken into consideration.
Penalty for Possession of Marijuana in Oklahoma
The medical marijuana law enacted by SQ 788 carved out an exception to the above law that’s specific to possession of marijuana. A person in possession of an Oklahoma medical marijuana license can legally:
- Consume marijuana;
- Possess up to three ounces of marijuana on their person;
- Possess six mature marijuana plants;
- Possess six seedling plants;
- Possess one ounce of concentrated marijuana;
- Possess 72 ounces of edible marijuana; and
- Possess up to eight ounces of marijuana in their residence.
Possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana by anyone who can state a medical condition, but not in possession of a state-issued medical marijuana license, constitutes a misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $400. Succinctly, if you don’t have a marijuana card and are caught by law enforcement with up to 1.5 ounces of weed and you can state a medical condition, then the worst punishment you can receive is a $400 fine–no jail time.
Penalties For Possession Of A CDS In Oklahoma (November 1, 2016 – to July 1, 2017)
Possession of any Schedule I or II substance, except marijuana, was a felony, and you could spend up to five years in the Department of Corrections and pay a $5,000 fine.
A second violation of that law can get you up to 10 years in the Department of Corrections and a $10,000 fine. A subsequent violation of that section involving Schedule I or II drugs, except marijuana, carries a punishment ranging from 4–15 years in the Department of Corrections and a $10,000 fine.
Possession of any Schedule III, IV, or V substance, including marijuana, was a misdemeanor for the first offense. You could spend up to one year in county jail and be fined up to $1,000. Possession of a Schedule III, IV, or V substance, including marijuana, during the period of any court-imposed probationary term or within ten years of the date following the completion or execution of any sentence or deferred judgment and it is a second or a subsequent violation was a felony. You could spend between one to five years in the Department of Corrections and pay a fine of up to $5,000. Possession of any CDS within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child under 12 was a felony.
For a first offense, the imprisonment was a term that is not more than twice the amount authorized by the appropriate and respective part of the statute. Also, you must serve a minimum of 50% of that sentence before you become eligible for good time credit. If you have a second or subsequent offense of possessing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child aged 12 or younger (during the period this statute was valid), then you must serve a minimum of 90% of your sentence before being eligible to earn good time credits. The fine can be up to $10,000.
Penalties For Possession Of A CDS Prior to November 1, 2016
The law covering simple possession that was superseded on November 1, 2016 had harsher penalties than the law that superseded it. The law that went into effect on November 1, 2016 removed some mandatory minimums and reduced some maximums.
Endeavoring to Commit a Drug Offense
Endeavoring to commit a drug offense is covered in 63 OS § 2-408. It can be applied to any drug-related offense, but it’s most commonly used for drug possession. The typicall way this crime is charged is as
Endeavoring to Possess CDS.”
Endeavoring is defined as any effort to do or accomplish the evil purpose that the law was enacted to prevent. This is a VERY LOW standard—even lower than “attempt.” It’s basically any effort, no matter how slight, towards the attainment of your goal. For example, you have drugs, and I know you have drugs. If I take one step in your direction, then I could potentially be found guilty of “endeavoring to possess drugs.” Someone can be charged with endeavoring to possess drugs by merely pointing another in the direction of a drug dealer.
This is a very scary statute because the threshold to violate it is so low. So, if you don’t want to get charged with this offense, then don’t do anything that would give law enforcement the idea that you are trying to get drugs or help someone else get drugs.
The penalty for “endeavoring” is the penalty for the drug crime you’re supposedly endeavoring to commit.
Sources: 63 OS § 2-402 (Superseded 11/1/16), 63 OS § 2-402 (Superseded 7/1/2017), 63 OS § 2-402 (Effective 7/1/2017), SQ 788, 63 O.S. § 420A, 63 OS § 2-408 & OUJI-CR 6-16
Current as of 4/12020. Laws are subject to change at any time! Go to the statutes for the most up-to-date information.