Marijuana Use Can Have Serious Consequences

Attorney Mark Powell, Powell Law Scranton PABy Mark J. Powell, Esq.

Most people do not understand the legal consequences of marijuana use. While some states have legalized marijuana use in small quantities, marijuana is illegal in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia reduced the penalties for marijuana use in the city of Philadelphia; however, it is still criminalized.

While a bit confusing, possession of marijuana in Pennsylvania is a misdemeanor. However, Philadelphia may choose not to arrest you on a misdemeanor, but rather on a summary offense where an individual may face just a fine. All other jurisdictions in Pennsylvania treat possession of marijuana as a misdemeanor. Recently, some jurisdictions have reduced possession of drug paraphernalia to a summary offense but similarly, it is still a misdemeanor in the most parts of the state.

Unfortunately, these conflicts in the law are unlikely to be resolved for years in the future. A conviction for possessing marijuana could have a lifelong impact on your criminal record, as it is not the type of crime that typically can be expunged if you are guilty. In addition, you will lose your driving operating privileges for six months for misdemeanor possession of even a small amount of marijuana.

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