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Virgin Islands Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

1 oz or less civil offense N/A $ 200
More than 1 oz (first offense) not classified 1 year $ 5,000
More than 1 oz (subsequent offense) not classified 2 years $ 10,000

Distribution or Cultivation

Any amount (first offense) not classified 5 years $ 15,000
Any amount (subsequent offense) not classified 10 years $ 30,000
To a minor (first offense) not classified 15 years $ 60,000
To a minor (subsequent offense) not classified 30 years $ 90,000
50 - 200 lbs not classified 3 years* $ 25,000
201 - 1000 lbs not classified 5 years* $ 50,000
More than 1000 lbs not classified 15 years* $ 200,000
Within 1000 ft of a school, university, park, or beach is punishable by an additional mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment.
Includes possession with intent to distribute
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Trafficking 1 - 10 lbs not classified 3 years* $ 25,000
Trafficking 10 - 100 lbs not classified 5 years* $ 50,000
Trafficking more than 100 lbs not classified 15 years* $ 200,000
*Mandatory Minimum Sentence
Penalties for hashish and marijuana are generally treated equally under the law with the exception of Trafficking.

Paraphernalia

Use or possession with intent to use paraphernalia not classified 1 year $ 5,000
Distribution or possession with intent to distribute paraphernalia not classified 3 years $ 15,000

Civil Asset Forfeiture

All containers and all vehicles used for possession or distribution are subject to forfeiture.

Penalty Details

According to U.S. Virgin Islands law Marijuana is a schedule I(c) hallucinogenic substance.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-595

Possession

Possession of one ounce or less of cannabis in the Virgin Islands for those age 18 and older is classified as a civil offense, punishable by a fine between $100 and $200. Those under the age of 18 will also be required to complete a drug awareness program. The depenalization measure eliminates jail time for minor marijuana offenses.

For first offenders possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is punishable by up to 1 year of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000. First offenders are also eligible for probation, and all charges and public records will be dismissed upon successful completion of probation. If the defendant is under the age of 21 at the time of the offense, successful completion of probation will result in all public records of the arrest and conviction being expunged. For second offenders possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by up to 2 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-607

Distribution or Cultivation

Distribution of marijuana includes possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.

For first offenders distribution or cultivation of marijuana is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $15,000. For subsequent offenses distribution or cultivation of marijuana is punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $30,000. Defendant’s who were only involved in the sale or cultivation of a small amount of marijuana may be eligible to be tried as possession offenders. Also, First offenders must be offered parole after 2 years of imprisonment.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-604(a)
  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-604(b)(1)(B)
  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-604(b)(1)(B)(4)

Distribution or cultivation of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, university, park, or beach is punishable by an additional mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-604(b)(1)(B)(5)(a)

For first offenders, distribution of marijuana by a person under the age of 18 to a person under the age of 18 is punishable by imprisonment up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $30,000. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $60,000. Parole is available after 4 years of imprisonment.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-608(a)

For first offenders, distribution of marijuana by a person over the age of 18 to a person under the age of 18 is punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years and/or a fine of up to $60,000. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $90,000. Parole is available after 6 years of imprisonment.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-608(b)

Distributing, cultivating, or delivering between 50-200 pounds of marijuana carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 3 years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000. Between 200-1,000 pounds of marijuana carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $50,000. Over 1,000 pounds carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $200,000.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-614a(a)(1)

Distributing, manufacturing, or delivering between 1-10 pounds of hash or hash oil carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000. Between 10-100 pounds carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $50,000. Over 100 pounds carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a fine of $200,000.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-614a(a)(2)

Hash & Concentrates

The definition of Marihuana in the Virgin Islands statute includes the resin of the Cannabis plant and any derivative, preparation, compound, or mixture thereof. Hashish is not defined in the statute, nor is it listed on the Controlled Substances Schedule. Both Marihuana and Tetrahydrocannabinols are listed as hallucinogenic substances in Schedule I, but there appears to be no differentiation in penalties for the two substances.

See:

  • V.I. Code Ann. Tit. 19, § 593;
  • V.I. Code Ann. Tit. 19, § §595

The only place where Hashish is differentiated from Marihuana is in the punishment for trafficking. Trafficking in Hashish is a separate offense from trafficking in Marihuana, with a much lower weight threshold than for Marijuana. 1 pound of Hashish triggers a trafficking offense, whereas 50 pounds of Marijuana is required to trigger a trafficking offense.

Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, possesses or brings into the territory more than 1 pound, but less than 10 pounds of Hashish or Hash Oil shall be sentenced to a three year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and pay a fine not to exceed $25,000. For an amount of Hashish or Hash Oil between 10 pounds and 100 pounds, the penalty increases to 5 years mandatory imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $50,000. For an amount greater than 100 pounds, the penalty increases to a 15 year mandatory term of incarceration and a fine not to exceed $200,000.

See:

  • V.I. Code Ann. Tit. 19, § §614A

Paraphernalia

Using or possessing with the intent to use any device that assists in the cultivation, distribution, inhalation, or ingestion of marijuana is punishable by imprisonment for up to 1 year and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute marijuana paraphernalia is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $15,000.

If and individual 18 or over gives marijuana to a person under the age of 18 that offense is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $15,000.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-630

Forfeiture

All containers used in the possession or distribution of marijuana are subject to forfeiture. All vehicles used for possession or distribution are also subject to forfeiture.

See:

  • Virgin Islands Code Ann. tit. 19, § 29-623
Conditional Release

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.

Decriminalization

The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.