May 26, 2019  Last Update: November 27, 2017, 8:52 pm

Legal Limits for Marijuana Possession: 40 plants, if you’re a Judge

It seems that if you are a Judge, you can have up to 40 marijuana plants growing in your home. Forty-one, and you’ll get charged with a misdemeanor and have to serve 30 days of jail time. At least that’s how it looks, as former Virginia Judge James H. Allamong Jr. was sentenced for his 41 plants discovered by firemen last year.

The now former Judge and still-practicing lawyer pled guilty to “misdemeanor possession” and “misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia”.¬† He had been initially charged with felony “possession with intent to distribute“, and “felony manufacturing of marijuana“, the typical heavy charges levied on individuals found to be in possession of more than a handful of pot plants.¬† But because he’s a judge, the charges against Allamong were reduced from felony to misdemeanor.

The pot is said to be for medicinal use, although Virginia does not allow for medicinal use of marijuana. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug in Virginia and under Federal law.

The Internet is full of public comment about this case, with many feeling a judge got off easy with misdemeanor charges for what is a much larger grow-op than others have been sent to jail for operating.

"Retired Arlington County Judge Paul Sheridan sentenced Allamong to 30 days in jail beginning Oct. 5 and to pay a $500 fine. The sentence includes 12 months suspended jail time, two years probation and 200 community service hours."
- Harrisonburg, VA Daily News-Record

The lawyer will spend 30 days in jail, and have to log 200 community service hours, which I presume would include any pro-bono work he’d normally do as a lawyer. The reports don’t suggest any chronic addiction issues, or drug dependency.

If Allamong was a busy lawyer or managed many cases as part-time Judge while he was smoking dope, we should expect some court actions from those who had hired him or were sentenced by him. There seems to be plenty of room for claims of negligence, malpractice, and other side-effects of practicing law while under the influence of psycho-active substances.

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Judge gets caught with 41 plants, gets slapped on the wrist.
Even a Judge thinks pot should be legal. VA Judge had 41 pot plants growing in his house


Resources: reports  of arrest in October 2011



  1. Strasburg Virginia Boy says:

    This stinks so bad it smells like it could be right next door. Oh wait, it is. This is yet another example of Virginia’s good ole boy network at its finest, stemming from the Shenandoah Valley region which leaches on DC’s dirty laundered money. Virginia is for Marijuana Lovers, but only the fortunate sons.

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