The Bonnaroo Music Festival is one of Tennessee’s most prized traditions. The four-day festival brings in visitors from across the nation who come together to appreciate the music, art and festivities. If you’re planning on visiting the festival, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with Tennessee’s laws and penalties surrounding narcotics, marijuana and other illegal substances – as well as what to do if you are accused of possessing them.
Tennessee’s drug laws
Marijuana has become legal in many states, but not in Tennessee. It’s important to remember that you can receive criminal charges even for simply possessing the drug, even if you were not consuming or distributing it. The same applies to other illegal drugs, such as ecstasy.
If the police accuse you of possessing marijuana, they can charge you with a misdemeanor offense. If they accuse you of using, distributing, manufacturing or smuggling it, they can charge you with a felony.
The penalties for a successful conviction of these crimes vary depending upon the type of substance it is. If it is a more dangerous drug, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, or psychedelics, a first-time conviction could result in a jail sentence of two to fifteen years.
What to do if the police arrest you
Do not try to explain yourself to the police. Comply with their orders, but remain silent. If they question you, simply state that you are invoking your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. Then stay silent until your attorney arrives.
Simply refusing to answer police questions is different from explicitly invoking your constitutional rights. If you state in clear and unequivocal terms that you are invoking your rights, the police must cease interrogation until your attorney is present.
Bonnaroo is a fun-filled and relaxing event that residents and tourists alike look forward to year-round. Stay safe, enjoy the music, and remember what your rights are.