In the Keystone, or Quaker State, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you are not treated like a gentle Quaker if you’re caught with Marijuana.
Although Pennsylvania does offer conditional release for first prosecutions, the rest of their laws are fairly stiff. Conditional release lets a person opt for probation, rather than a trial, after successful completion of probation, the criminal record will not reflect the charge.
A first offense of 30 grams, or less is eligible for conditional release, but subsequent convictions can lead to a double penalty! Getting caught with intent to sale or distribute is only a misdemeanor, if 30 grams or less and a first offense. That said, if the amount is 2 – 10 lbs, you are looking at a felony and a 1 year mandatory minimum sentence (MMS*). If 10 – 50 lbs the MMS is 3 years.
*Mandatory Minimum Sentence (MMS)
If convicted of a crime that is punishable by a MMS, the judge must sentence you to the mandatory minimum sentence, or longer! Unfortunately in these situations, the judge has no power to sentence you to less time than the MMS and you will not be eligible for parole. To put this into perspective, even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence.
Hash and Concentrates
Hash and Concentrates are only a misdemeanor if caught in possession of 8 grams, or less, yet you can still spend up to 30 days in jail along with a $500 fine. If more than 8 grams it’s still only a misdemeanor, but you could spend up to 1 year in jail, plus a $5,000 fine. If you’re caught manufacturing Hash or Concentrates it’s an automatic felony with up to 5 years in the slammer, plus a $15,000 fine.
The sell or possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, with up to a year jail sentence and $2,500 fine and if to a minor (at least 3 years younger); you can double that term/fine.
Don’t take drugs and drive
Pennsylvania also has a per se drugged driving law in place. Essentially what this means is that if you are caught/measured with a certain specified, detectable level of THC in your blood while driving, you could be criminally charged. The problems with a law like this, is that you may have detectable levels of THC in your blood, for days after you’ve consumed and are no way impaired behind the wheel. Driving with levels over the measurable blood limit, could lead to a criminal convection.