Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Maryland Cocaine Laws

Drug laws can be tricky - trying to balance keeping our communities safe while recognizing how addiction can come into play is a difficult task. Cocaine, in both powdered form and as crack, is a serious drug threat today and one of the state's most heavily trafficked illegal drugs.

The HBO series The Wire placed the Baltimore drug trade on the national stage. Beyond television depictions, though, Maryland has battled cocaine trafficking on its streets for years. Primarily due to the increased violence surrounding cocaine distribution and use, Maryland authorities crack down heavily on both sale and possession of cocaine. Here is a brief summary of cocaine laws in the state.

State Cocaine Laws

Cocaine possession, sale, and trafficking are felonies in nearly every state. Possession of a small amount of the drug can lead to serious penalties in Maryland. Like cocaine laws in other states, Maryland’s statutes increase in severity and punishment with multiple offenses.

Cocaine Statutes in Maryland

The charges and penalties under Maryland's cocaine laws are listed below.

Code Section Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 5-601, et seq.
Possession Misdemeanor with penalty of up to 4 yrs. and/or $25,000; Bringing 28 g. into state: felony with penalty of up to $50,000 and/or 25 yrs.; Subsequent offense: double penalties
Sale Felony with penalty of 20 yrs. and/or $25,000; Sale of more than 448 g. or 50 g. of crack: not less than 40 yrs.; Subsequent offense: double penalties; 2 yrs. mandatory, not less than 10 yr. sentence; Third offense: not less than 40 yrs. Sale to minors or near school property: stricter penalties
Trafficking If "drug kingpin" 20-40 yrs. and/or $1,000,000 fine

There are Maryland state statutes as well as federal laws on the books. Federal drug laws prohibit simple cocaine possession along with manufacturing and cultivation and trafficking and distribution. As seen above, penalties for cocaine possession or sale can be severe and generally vary depending on whether you have prior drug convictions and the quantity of drugs involved.

In some cases, prosecutors can offer a plea bargain to a lower-level offender in exchange for helping to build a case against higher-level producers and dealers. In addition, some jurisdictions have recently created specialized “drug courts” that allow first or second-time drug crime defendants to spend time in treatment in lieu of a jail sentence.

Maryland Cocaine Laws: Related Resources

Our societal norms regarding drugs and the state laws that reflect them are changing every day. For additional resources and introductory information on this topic, you can visit FindLaw's Drug Charges section. You can also contact a Maryland drug crime attorney if you would like legal help regarding a drug case or in understanding local drug laws. If you or someone you know has been struggling with drug addiction or a substance abuse problem, the first step is to reach out for help.

Facing Cocaine Charges? Don't Take Chances: Call an Attorney

If you have been charged with a cocaine-related drug offense, you may be facing several years in prison, not to mention the lifelong repercussions of a felony conviction. Make sure your best interests are protected by working with a skilled Maryland defense attorney experienced in controlled substances cases.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex drug crimes usually require a lawyer
  • Experienced drug crime lawyers can seek to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties
  • Drug crime laws involve many specifics that can quickly change a case

Get tailored legal advice and ask a lawyer questions. Many Maryland attorneys offer free consultations for Drug Crime.


 If you need an attorney, find one right now.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options