Media reports are abound about the liberalization of laws relating to the legal sales and use of marijuana in a few jurisdictions in the United States. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is not one of those jurisdictions. The reality is that Pennsylvania maintains relatively strict laws when it comes to the criminalization of the use and possession of marijuana.
Possession of Marijuana in Pennsylvania
The possession of marijuana, even for so-called personal use, carries stiff penalties. If a person is convicted of possession of 30g of marijuana or less, that individual can face a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Possession of more than 30g of marijuana can result in a one-year term of incarceration and a $5,000 fine. A subsequent conviction for marijuana possession can result in a doubling of the penalties. Possession is a misdemeanor charge.
Sale or Distribution in Pennsylvania
Sales of marijuana come with stiff penalties: Sales of two to 10 lbs is a felony punishable by up to a one-year term of incarceration and a $5,000 fine. 10 to 50 lbs is a felony with a potential penalty of three years of incarceration and a $25,000 fine. If a person is charged with more than 1,000 lbs, the penalty can be 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Cultivation of Marijuana
Cultivating or growing marijuana is a crime in Pennsylvania. Any number of plants is a felony. The penalty can be a period of incarceration of one to five years and up to a $15,000 fine
Two important enhancements exist when it comes to the marijuana laws in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Penalties can be enhanced if a sale is made to a minor. In addition, penalties can be enhanced if a sale occurs within a specified zone surrounding a school.
Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney
A person charged with a marijuana law violation should contact a qualified Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney immediately. A Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will schedule an initial consultation at no-cost and no-obligation to a prospective client.