Consequences of Marijuana Possession
In Pennsylvania, cannabis is illegal for recreational use. However, if caught with a small amount in some of the large cities within the state, it could be considered a crime unless you have a valid medical ID card. In 2016, marijuana was legalized for medical use as part of a bill passed in the state legislature. It would be a misdemeanor if you possessed 30 grams of marijuana. You will be charged a fine of $500 and up to a month in jail. With a good Philadelphia drug lawyer, you could get a conditional release.
If you possess more than 30 grams of marijuana, your fine would increase to $5000 and up to a year in jail. With a past conviction for the same crime, your penalties could substantially increase. Even though cannabis possession remains a state crime, there are local municipalities and cities throughout the state of Pennsylvania that have passed laws to decriminalize marijuana possession when caught with a small amount of cannabis. One of the cities with such ordinances is the city of Philadelphia. If you possess 30 grams or less of marijuana in Philadelphia, it would be considered a civil violation instead of a criminal violation. In that case, the fine would be just $25. The same is true if you are caught smoking the same amount of marijuana in public.
Valid Medical ID Card
In Pennsylvania, some residents have a medical marijuana ID. However, to get into the program, there is an application process and applicants must have a qualifying illness. Once approved for the program, applicants will receive their ID cards from the Medical Marijuana Registry. There is a cost for the ID card and a limit to how much marijuana each cardholder can purchase. Usually, ID cardholders can only purchase up to a 30-day supply.
Even though possessing marijuana is a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, selling cultivated marijuana can result in severe penalties under the law. Some of the penalties include:
- Cultivation of up to nine pounds and more than two pounds or planting 10 to 20 live marijuana plants could get you as much as a year of prison time and a fine of $5000. If you repeat the offense, the fines and penalties could be larger.
- Cultivation of up to 49 pounds and more than ten pounds or planting 21 to 50 live marijuana plants could get you as much as three years of prison time and a fine of $15,000. Your prison time could double if you have repeated the offense.
- Cultivation of up to 50 pounds or more or planting 51 or more live marijuana plants could get you as much as five years prison time and a fine of $50,000. Your prison time could double if you have repeated the offense.
If you have received a charge for marijuana possession in the state of Pennsylvania, there is good news. You can request a consultation with a Philadelphia drug lawyer to represent and defend you. A good lawyer will want to meet with you to discuss the details of your case. To move forward, contact a lawyer as soon as possible.