The State of Pennsylvania is currently juggling whether or not medical marijuana should be allowed to treat patients suffering from chronic medical conditions. The new bills that are under scrutiny could potentially allow dispensaries to both grow and distribute marijuana legally to patients and physicians.Until these bills are passed, however, marijuana laws in Pennsylvania continue to be strict and complex. Understanding these laws can help ensure that you make the most of your rights involving medical marijuana.
What Is a Schedule I Drug?
Marijuana is considered a Schedule I substance in Pennsylvania. Drugs listed as Schedule I are considered some of the most dangerous available, as they are deemed to have a high potential for addiction and no generally recognized value. Without getting too deeply into it, this classification is a hot topic of debate and organizations all across the country, such as the American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH), continue to lobby for the medical and practical uses of marijuana. Such groups also consider marijuana to be non-addictive, furthering their reasons for challenging Pennsylvania State laws. For now, though, it is a Schedule I substance in the eyes of the law and thus carries harsh penalties when involved with a crime.
Marijuana Possession Laws
Anyone who is knowingly in possession of marijuana in Pennsylvania is committing a serious crime. It should be noted that possession does not necessarily mean on your body, but could also include having the substance on your private property, such as in your car or in your room. Penalties for such actions could be as severe as:
- $500 to $5000 in fines
- One month to one year in jail
Marijuana Manufacturing and Distribution
To cultivate or distribute marijuana is also, under current laws, a criminal act. The penalties are much harsher than simply possessing it and, in cases involving distributing it for profit, the punishments get even worse. Distribution and manufacturing penalties will scale depending on how much of the substance was involved, and could include:
- $5000 to $100,000 fines
- One to ten years in prison
It should also be noted that making, advertising, or selling marijuana paraphernalia is still strictly illegal in Pennsylvania. This means you could be hit with a high fine or time behind bars for dealing with anything that could be used for growing, processing, storing, or using the drug.
What Does This Mean for Me?
As of right now, the laws surrounding marijuana use in Pennsylvania seem to be far too strict in the public eye, hence the possible upcoming reform. With many studies indicating the potential usefulness of marijuana and hemp, there has been a significant legal push to revise current legal standards and open the door for the lawful production and use of these substances in Pennsylvania.
If you have questions concerning medical cannabis, contact Sacks Weston LLC today. With 100+ years of combined experience at our disposal, we are ready counsel you and provide the representation necessary to protect your rights. Schedule your complimentary and confidential consultation today.