Being charged with a marijuana crime in Pennsylvania can be confusing. This is because, although the state signed the medical use of marijuana into law in 2016, it remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.
But, while the state recognizes the potential benefits of marijuana in treating various medical conditions, it retains penalties for marijuana possession with the intention to deliver. In fact, Pennsylvania classifies marijuana distribution as a felony offense, and the penalty depends on the amount of marijuana involved and whether it is a first or subsequent offense. The potential penalties can include fines, probation, and imprisonment.
Can you go to jail if you’re convicted of marijuana distribution?
Possession with intent to deliver is an ungraded felony in Pennsylvania and is punishable by fines and prison time. Suppose you were charged and convicted for distributing 30g or less of marijuana. In that case, you could spend up to 30 days in jail and pay a fine of up to $500.
However, selling more than 30g is a felony, punishable by up to five years in jail and a $15,000 fine for a first offense. Further, delivery of marijuana within 250 ft. of a recreational playground or 1,000 ft of a school is punishable by up to four years in prison. Selling to a minor brings harsher penalties upon conviction.
What are the collateral consequences of being convicted of marijuana distribution?
Aside from the direct consequences of a marijuana distribution conviction, you may also suffer harsh collateral consequences. For starters, your driver’s license can be suspended for six months if you’re a first-time offender and two years for second, third, or subsequent offenders.
Furthermore, being convicted of a drug possession offense disqualifies you from financial aid or subsidized student loans.
Based on the severe consequences of marijuana possession and distribution, it is best to avoid a drug possession conviction at all costs. If you do find yourself on the wrong side of the law, seeking legal assistance can help you navigate your situation.