The War on Drugs motivated states to pass draconian drug laws. And many states stand by these laws despite the fact that prisons are overcrowded and don’t serve to rehabilitate addicts. Mississippi is one of those states.

While they have recently decreased the penalties for marijuana possession, other drugs can land you in prison for several years. A drug possession charge in the state of Mississippi can carry harsh penalties. This is true whether you are a first-time offender or have an extensive criminal history, whether you are caught with a year’s supply of drugs, or merely a gram.

The charge you face and the potential penalty depend largely on how much of a drug you are accused of possessing.

Possession of Marijuana

Possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana is not a criminal offense. Instead, it is classified as a violation. This means, for a first offense, you will only face a fine of $250. However, you can face jail time if this isn’t your first offense. A second offense carries a minimum 5 days in jail and up to 60 days. A third or subsequent offense carries a minimum 5 days in jail and up to 6 months.

If you are charged with possessing anything more than 30 grams, you will be charged with a felony. For 30 to 250 grams, the sentence can be as much as 3 years in prison.

Possession of Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamines

These drugs are considered highly addictive and dangerous. It’s this that warrants their classification as Schedule I and Schedule II substances, according to Mississippi drug possession laws. The penalty you face for possessing these drugs is dependent on how much of the drug is found in your possesion.

Possession of a Schedule I or II drug is always classified as a felony.

Amount Potential Penalty
Less than .1 gram 4 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000
.1 gram to less than 2 grams 2-8 years in prison and $50,000 in fines
2 grams to 10 grams 4-16 years in prison and $250,000 in fines
10 to 30 grams 6-24 years in prison and $500,000 in fines


Despite the bleak look of things, not all drug possession charges result in a prison sentence. Through plea bargaining or a successful defense at trial, you may be able to avoid the harshest of these penalties.