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Penalties for marijuana possession in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2021 | blog, Drug Crimes |

Marijuana comes from the dried leaves of the cannabis plant, and some states have made it legal with some restrictions. Other states allow medical use, but it is still illegal in several states. A person in State College, Pennsylvania, may face several charges for possessing or selling it.

Marijuana laws in Pennsylvania overview

Pennsylvania divides drug crimes into Schedules I to V classifies, meaning the higher the number has less abuse potential. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, though the state has decriminalized small amounts of 30 grams or less.

While medical use is allowed, the Controlled Substances Act makes possessing marijuana without a valid prescription, cultivation of cannabis, and unlicensed sales illegal. Medical marijuana is available to adults 21 and older, and the law restricts them to a 30-day supply. Drug crimes come under two categories: possession for personal use and possession with intent to sell or manufacture, which is a felony.

Penalties for possession

Simple possession involving less than 30 grams commonly includes misdemeanor charges with penalties of up to a $500 fine and/or 30 days of jail. Simple possession of 32 grams or more commonly includes penalties of a maximum $5,000 fine and/or up to a year of jail, or both. Possessing marijuana paraphernalia may include penalties of a maximum $2,500 fine and up to one year of jail.

Possession with the intent to sell any amount increases the penalty to a felony with a maximum five-year jail term and a $5,000 fine. Aggravating factors may apply to all offense levels, such as past convictions, involving minors, or getting caught near schools. Some first offenders may be eligible for conditional release, which includes an alternate one-year probation as an alternate sentence.

A single marijuana drug charge can impact a reputation and the ability to get jobs. However, the prosecution must show the defendant had actual control, and the substance is marijuana. Sometimes, police make mistakes, and charges can get reduced or dropped with a good defense.