Marijuana Possession And State And Local Laws

Marijuana (also known as cannabis) has a long history as a party drug. In most locations in Pennsylvania, being convicted of possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. And at the federal level, marijuana remains an unlawful Schedule I controlled substance.

The state's laws regarding marijuana possession have changed in the past few years, but these changes do not apply universally to all youths or adults across the state. You can still be charged with a drug offense for possession of marijuana. At Engle, Kauffman & VanHorn, P.C., our attorneys closely follow the latest updates to state and local statutes and can assist you or your college student in finding solutions to a cannabis arrest to allow you to move forward with a bright future.

Medical Marijuana, Decriminalization Programs And Conviction Alternatives

Lawful use of cannabis became available to Pennsylvanians in early 2018 thanks to a medical marijuana program approved by the legislature and the governor. To participate in this program, patients must register with the state, have a certification of a qualifying condition by an approved physician, and follow a strict set of rules about where to purchase, consume and store the medicine.

In addition to the medical marijuana program, several Pennsylvania cities — including State College municipality — have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. It is essential to understand that decriminalization does not equal legalization. Adults in State College can still be cited and fined for possession, and that can leave them with a misdemeanor on their record. This "small" misdemeanor can have big consequences when applying for a job or a student loan, so it is best to address the criminal charge rather than simply accepting the citation.

Our firm's lawyers can help you seek alternatives to conviction for possession. You may qualify for a diversion program or Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). If an old possession conviction is holding you back, our attorneys can see if you qualify for record expungement.

Charged With A Drug Offense For Possession Of Marijuana? We Can Help.

Our attorneys work with clients in State College, Centre County and surrounding areas in central Pennsylvania. To set up a free, confidential consultation regarding your circumstances, call us at 814-308-0894 or email the firm.