The State of Pennsylvania is famed for its role in the early development of the United States with the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Gettysburg Address all being written in the Keystone State.
While the state has undoubtedly written a significant chunk of American history, it has been a little slower in writing cannabis laws that accurately reflect the sea-change currently being witnessed in American attitudes towards marijuana cultivation and usage.
Is Cannabis Legal in Pennsylvania?
At present, cannabis remains illegal for recreational use in the state of Pennsylvania, however, the possession of small amounts has been decriminalised by several of the states largest cities including Philadelphia in 2014, Pittsburgh in 2015, and Lancaster in 2018.
With that being said, let’s take a look at Pennsylvania marijuana laws and whether they could become the next state to fully legalise adult cannabis usage in the U.S.
With the introduction of the new Pennsylvania marijuana laws, access to medical cannabis is available with a physicians approval, should the patient require treatment for one of seventeen qualifying conditions laid out in the framework of the bill. Qualifying conditions include chronic pain, cancer and Glaucoma.
Possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. The penalties for possession of greater than 30 grams increase to a possible one year in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
Delivery of marijuana within 1,000 ft of a school or within 250 ft. of recreational playground is punishable by 2-4 years in prison.
Possession or sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500, unless the sale was to a minor, in which case the possible penalties double.
Delivery for no remuneration of 30 grams or less of marijuana is treated as possession with a possible penalty of 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500. Cultivation, delivery or sale of 1,000 pounds or less is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. For amounts greater than 1,000 pounds, the penalty increases to a possible 10 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000. The court is authorized to increase the fines beyond the maximum to exhaust the proceeds of the crime. Sale or distribution to a minor by a person over the age of 21 doubles the possible penalties.
Conditional release: The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual’s criminal record does not reflect the charge.