Although it is a scheduled controlled substance, drug crimes involving marijuana are handled differently than those involving other illegal substances in Pennsylvania. This includes offenses relating to the distribution of marijuana. In order for people to help protect their rights, it may be helpful for them to have an understanding of marijuana distribution charges, and the potential penalties for this offense.
Under Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act, people are not only prohibited from possessing even a small amount of marijuana. The delivery distribution of this substance, or the intent to distribute it, is also restricted. This is the case even if the substance is not for sale.
The severity and types of penalties a person might face if convicted of marijuana distribution in Pennsylvania varies based on a number of factors. These include the amount of marijuana a person allegedly distributed, as well as his or her prior criminal record. State law stipulates that those convicted of this drug crime shall be fined and sentenced to a minimum term in prison.
In cases when there is between two and 10 pounds of marijuana involved, people may be fined at least $5,000. They may also be sentenced to one year in prison. When there is between 10 and 50 pounds of marijuana involved in the alleged offense, the fine may be increased to at least $15,000. In these cases, those convicted may be sentenced to a minimum of three years in prison. People who are convicted of drug distribution involving more than 50 pounds of marijuana may be fined a minimum of $50,000 and sentenced to at least five years in prison, according to Pennsylvania state law.
Being charged with marijuana distribution, or other drug-related offenses, can have a life-changing impact for people in Philadelphia, and throughout Pennsylvania. As such, those who are facing such charges may benefit from working with an attorney. A legal representative may explain their options, and help ensure their rights are upheld.