While many states are continuing to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, the state of Pennsylvania holds strict laws regarding the drug. Under the Controlled Substance Act, the possession and distribution of marijuana are illegal. If found in violation of these laws, a person can face significant consequences as a result. It is because of this that those found in these situations should retain the services of a skilled attorney to navigate the case.
Consequences of Possession
In Pennsylvania, it is still illegal to be in possession of marijuana. The consequences a person may face for being in violation of this law can vary depending on the amount of marijuana they were in possession of at the time of the arrest. If the individual is in possession of:
- 30 grams or less of flower it is considered a misdemeanor, resulting in 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine
- 8 grams or less of hashish it is considered a misdemeanor, resulting in 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine
- More than 30 grams of flower is considered a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 6-12 months incarceration and a $5000 fine. Second or subsequent offenses can carry a maximum penalty of $25,000 and 18-36 months incarceration.
- More than 8 grams is considered a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 6-12 months incarceration and a $5000 fine. Second or subsequent offenses can carry a maximum penalty of $25,000 and 18-36 months incarceration.
It is important to know that a person’s first conviction for possession can result in the conditional release and up to a year of probation instead of jail time. However, second or subsequent offenses can lead to a doubled penalty.
Consequences of Distribution
Those who are charged with the sale or distribution of marijuana can face separate consequences. This can include the following:
- Distribution of 30 grams or less without compensation is considered a misdemeanor, resulting in up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500
- Sale of more than 30 grams is a felony, resulting in two and a half to five years in jail and a $15,000 fine for a first offense
- Delivery of the drug within 1000 feet of a school or 250 feet of a recreational playground can result in two to four years in prison
- Distribution to a minor by a person over the age of 21 is a felony and can result in doubled penalties
In April 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Health signed the state’s Medical Marijuana Program into law. This proves access to medical marijuana for patients with serious medical conditions. This allows a safe method of delivery that provides patient access to these treatments. Patients under this program must be at least 18 years old and residents of the state in order to be eligible. The approved forms of medical marijuana are through a pill, oil, topical forms, tincture, liquid, and medically appropriate vaporization or nebulization.
Contact our Firm
Attorney Newman has represented clients in Pennsylvania for over 45 years. If you need an experienced attorney to help guide you through the personal injury claims process or with any criminal defense matters, Attorney Newman is ready to help. Contact The Law Office of Neal E. Newman today to schedule a consultation.