PITTSBURGH MARIHUANA DEFENSE ATTORNEY

 

HOW IS POSSESSION OF A SMALL AMOUNT OF MARIHUANA DEFINED IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Section 780-113(A)(31) penalizes the possession of a “small amount of marihuana,” which is a quantity of less than 30 grams.  The law prohibits the possession for personal use, distribution, or the intent to distribute.  The law does not cover the sale of a small amount of marihuana—that remains prohibited under Section 780-113(a)(30), the PWID statute.

Under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, “marihuana” is defined specifically as follows:

consists of all forms, species and/or varieties of the genus Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin; but shall not include tetrahydrocannabinols, the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

 

HOW SERIOUS IS POSSESSION OF A SMALL AMOUNT OF MARIHUANA?

A conviction for possession of a small amount of marihuana is an ungraded misdemeanor punishable up to a maximum of 30 days imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $500.

 

CAN POSSESSION OF A SMALL AMOUNT OF MARIHUANA CHARGE BE RESOLVED PRE-TRIAL?

Depending upon where in Pennsylvania one is charged with possession of a small amount of marihuana can make all of the difference in how the charge is viewed and resolved.

For example, in Allegheny County, a small amount of marihuana charge generally can be dismissed upon completion of community service, or it can be reduced in exchange for a plea to summary disorderly conduct under 18 Pa.C.S. § 5503.  In counties like Westmoreland on the other hand, the accused will either have to fight the charge or plea as is, unless they’re eligible for some sort of pre-trial diversion program like probation without verdict (PWOV).

 

WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?

A prosecution for possession of a small amount of marihuana must be commenced within two years after it is committed.

 

If you or a loved one is charged with possession of marihuana, call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney, Ryan H. James, who has tried and argued these cases with successful results.  Attorney James can be personally reached at 412-977-1827, or by e-mail at ryan@rhjameslaw.com