Weed, pot, plant, bud, Mary Jane, grass, herb, schwag, and reefer, call it what you want. The cops can smell it faster than a cup of coffee and a donut sitting in front of a fan. It’s important that we don’t confuse marijuana with other drugs, narcotics or controlled substances as different rules apply to each.

The main problem with marijuana is that it has such a strong and distinct smell. If you walk or drive past the cops with marijuana on you or in your car, they will probably smell it. This creates a problem because we’re now inviting cops to stop us when they otherwise would’ve thought we weren’t doing anything illegal.

There are some little things that can make big differences when it comes to getting caught with marijuana. We’re going to focus on the differences between getting a ticket and getting arrested.

Public place is used frequently when dealing with marijuana violations and crimes. A public place is basically anywhere the public or a large amount of people have access to. This is mainly the streets, parks, playgrounds and schools. Hallways and lobbies of apartment buildings and hotels are also considered public places. Let’s start with what can get you arrested first.

A person is guilty of criminal possession of marijuana when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana in a public place and it is burning or open to public view. Criminal possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, meaning you will get arrested for it.

Anytime you have a lit joint or any marijuana that’s burning in a public place, you can get arrested. This includes smoking in a park, your front porch, on the corner, etc. The same goes for driving in your car with the windows down while smoking a blunt. You can also be arrested for having a recently lit joint in your ashtray. The cops can easily bend the truth and say they observed you smoking marijuana. This means that you shouldn’t have burning marijuana anywhere the cops may lurking around. You’d much rather avoid getting handcuffed and thrown in a holding cell instead of keeping the marijuana in your pocket and getting a ticket for it if the Police find it.

Public view is also a very important piece of the definition. If the cops get called to your house for any reason and you have marijuana on your living room table, guess what? It’s considered public or “plain” view to the police and you can get arrested. It would be wise to hide your marijuana if you called for an ambulance because the police might show up with the paramedics.
The amount of marijuana can also be a deciding factor as to whether you get a ticket or get arrested. This doesn’t mean you can’t get arrested for having less than 25 grams. The cops can actually arrest you and send you to central booking for any ticket or violation. This includes having an open alcohol container in public and having less than 25 grams of marijuana in your possession. Keep this in mind when dealing with the police as they have the option of giving you a ticket or arresting you.

This is the best advice you will ever receive about marijuana.  Don’t smoke it or leave it in your car. Do those things at home. Also, if you smoke marijuana on Saturday night with some friends and you get pulled over on Sunday afternoon by the police, what will your car smell like?  Marijuana.  In most states, this automatically gives the police permission to search your vehicle.  The smell of marijuana permeates through your vehicle.  No amount of air freshener or vacuum sealing it in a bag will cover the scent for an extended period of time.  It will eventually permeate throughout your vehicle and the police will smell it.  The police can actually drive by a full lane of traffic stopped at a light and get smacked right in the face with the smell of marijuana.  It’s extremely easy for them at that time to pinpoint which vehicle the smell is coming from.  Don’t leave empty baggies in your car either.  Even if the bag is empty, you can get ticketed or arrested because it will have marijuana residue on it.  Clean out your ashtray and make sure there isn’t the tiniest butt from a marijuana cigarette because that too will get your ticketed or arrested.  Marijuana paraphernalia like bongs and pipes also keep residue on them and will get you into trouble.