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Penalties for marijuana possession in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Marijuana laws have changed across the United States. In Pennsylvania, medical marijuana is legal under certain conditions, but the state prohibits recreational use.

Residents and visitors alike need to understand the penalties for marijuana possession in the state.

Understanding possession limits

In Pennsylvania, the amount of marijuana you have determines the penalties you might face. If authorities catch you with 30 grams or less of marijuana, you will face a misdemeanor charge. This can result in a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail. However, if you have more than 30 grams, the penalties increase. You could end up in jail for up to a year and face fines of up to $5,000.

Differentiating between possession and intent to distribute

Having marijuana can get you in trouble, but if authorities think you plan to distribute or sell the drug, the penalties become steeper. For example, having a large quantity of marijuana might lead them to believe you plan to sell it. In these cases, even a first offense can result in hefty fines and extended jail time.

Facing subsequent offenses

If authorities catch you with marijuana multiple times, the fines and jail time will increase. Pennsylvania takes repeated offenses seriously, so you should be aware of the escalating nature of these penalties.

Considering additional consequences

In addition to fines and potential jail time, a drug conviction can affect your employment opportunities, especially in jobs that require background checks. Finding housing or pursuing educational opportunities can become challenging, and it can result in a suspension of your driving privileges.

With the changing landscape of marijuana laws, it is easy to get confused about what each state allows. You should stay informed about local regulations and act responsibly to avoid complications.