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Marijuana Defense Attorneys in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania

Marijuana Defense Attorneys in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania

Despite neighboring states like New Jersey and New York having legalized recreational use of marijuana, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is not yet on board despite efforts by State Senators to pass legislation. Because of this, even being charged with possession can be serious, and it’s important to know your rights and options following a charge. 

If you are facing a marijuana charge in or around Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, get in touch with us at Adams Kearney Law for guidance. Our legal team is fully versed in all controlled substances laws both state and federal and can help you in any legal action brought against you regarding marijuana or other drug violations. Reach out to us immediately. We also proudly serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, surrounding counties, and the greater Philadelphia area. 

Understanding Pennsylvania’s Marijuana Laws 

Senate Bill 846, introduced in July 2023 would have legalized recreational marijuana use for those 21 and older under the possession limits of 30 grams of cannabis flower, no more than 1,000 milligrams of THC contained in cannabis-infused edible or nonedible products, and five grams of cannabis concentrate. 

Marijuana remains a Schedule I substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which Pennsylvania still adheres to. Marijuana is thus ranked with heroin as a dangerous, addictive substance that must be controlled from distribution and use. 

Fortunately, in some areas of Pennsylvania, local laws have reduced the penalties for marijuana use to a civil violation that doesn’t appear on your driving or criminal record. For instance, in Philadelphia, you won’t be arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana, up to 30 grams. The penalty might be a fine as small as $25, but if you possess more than that amount or are caught selling or distributing the weed, the penalties can rise dramatically. 

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The Controlled Substances Act of 1971 

Under Pennsylvania law, marijuana is considered a Schedule I controlled substance.  The Controlled Substances Act of 1971 is federal legislation that lists substances controlled by the U.S. government into five categories known as schedules. Schedule I is the category most subject to abuse and degenerative effects on users. The list includes, in addition to marijuana, heroin, peyote, methamphetamine (ecstasy), and LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide.  

Federal authorities operating under the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other patrolling/enforcement agencies still enforce laws regulating marijuana sale, distribution, manufacture, and even the use of cannabis products. The long reach of federal law agencies is especially evident on U.S. government property, including courthouses, immigration facilities, Social Security sites, and even national parks.  

In Pennsylvania, despite some local municipalities’ policy of leniency on marijuana use, the Controlled Substances Act is still considered the law of the land. 

Medical Marijuana 

The Commonwealth, however, does allow the use of medicinal marijuana, if approved for use by a certified physician and the substance is purchased from a state-approved dispensary. The list of ailments that can allow a resident to qualify for medical marijuana is lengthy, including anxiety, glaucoma, and more serious diseases such as cancer or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). 

Penalties for Marijuana and Drug Possession in Pennsylvania 

As noted, Philadelphia has adopted a more moderate approach to marijuana possession, as has Pittsburgh, but statewide, the penalties can still be fairly serious. Penalties for drug possession in the Commonwealth range widely depending on the drug and the circumstances.  

  • Possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana is considered an upgraded misdemeanor in many situations. The penalties can include up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. 

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.  

  • Possession of any amount of Fentanyl can result in a sentence of up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.  

  • For other narcotic drugs, the defendant can be charged with a felony and may receive a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000 or more if necessary to exhaust the assets and profits built up from the illegal activity. 

Other consequences can include being prohibited from owning a firearm, loss of employment, difficulty obtaining car insurance or seeing your premiums skyrocket, loss of parental rights, and the inability to obtain student loans.  

If you are charged with distributing drugs to a minor or within a school zone, the penalties can increase, with a minimum one-year prison term for distributing to a minor and a two- to four-year sentence for distributing within 1,000 feet of a school or 250 feet of the playground. Your criminal defense attorney is prepared to advocate for your rights and fight for a minimal sentence. 

Marijuana Defense Attorneys in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania

If you are facing a marijuana possession or another related criminal charge in or around Ridley Park, contact us immediately at Adams Kearney Law. We will work with you every step of the way to obtain the best result possible.