How much trouble can I get into if I smoke a joint?

If you are a Pennsylvania resident who enjoys the occasional use of recreational marijuana, you undoubtedly are aware that recreational marijuana possession is a crime in our state. While Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana usage in April 2016, its recreational use is still prohibited.

As FindLaw explains, Title 35, Section 780 of the Pennsylvania Code makes it illegal to possess, sell or grow recreational marijuana. Although it is highly unlikely that smoking a joint in the privacy of your own home will get you into trouble, doing so anywhere else could result in your arrest and conviction of a misdemeanor.

Penalties for possession

If law enforcement officers catch you possessing marijuana, you could face the following penalties upon conviction:

  • Less than 30 grams: a jail term of as long as 30 days and a fine of $500 or less
  • Over 30 grams (first conviction): a jail term of up to one year and a fine as high as $5,000
  • Over 30 grams (subsequent conviction): up to three years in jail and a fine as high as $25,000

Penalties for sale

If you are caught possessing 1,000 pounds or more of marijuana, you are presumed to have it for the purpose of selling it. This is a felony in Pennsylvania and you could go to prison for 10 years if you are convicted, plus have to pay a $100,000 fine.

If you are convicted a second time, or if you are caught selling marijuana to a minor, the penalties upon conviction are a prison term of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $200,000. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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