Cannabis-related penalties in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2019 | Drug Charges

Although recreational cannabis has become legal in many states, Pennsylvania still limits residents to the medical variety. Individuals without a medical card will receive a drug possession charge for even small amounts of cannabis.

If your college student faces a cannabis-related charge, understand the potential consequences of a conviction.

Possession penalties

For less than 30 grams of cannabis, the person may receive a misdemeanor charge. A conviction carries a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail. More than 30 grams with no evidence of intent to distribute is also a misdemeanor, resulting in fines of up to $5,000 and up to one year in jail.

The court may double these maximum penalties for subsequent convictions. On the other hand, first-time offenders can receive a conditional release.

Distribution penalties

Intent to distribute more than 30 grams of the drug is a felony conviction. Offenders face a $15,000 fine and up to five years in prison for distribution within a school or playground zone. Penalties double for subsequent conviction and sale to minors. What is more, the court has discretion to increase the maximum fine.

Associated convictions

If your child grew these plants in his or her dorm room or apartment, he or she could face $15,000 and up to five years in prison. Cultivating cannabis is a felony in Pennsylvania regardless of the number of plants.

Possession or sale of certain drug paraphernalia, such as a pipe or rolling papers, is a misdemeanor resulting in a fine of up to $500 and six to 12 months in jail. If your child sold this type of item to a minor at least three years younger, the fine increases to $5,000 with possible incarceration of up to two years.

Despite these steep penalties, your child could receive a less stringent sentence based on the details of his or her case. This is especially true for first-time offenders with clean records.