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Pennsylvania Marijuana Laws

State laws governing marijuana seem to be ever-these days. From legalization and decriminalization in some states to medical marijuana in others, it seems impossible to keep track of which laws apply where. The same is true for our Keystone State, with Pennsylvania on the verge of permitting the use of medical marijuana for the first time under a bi-partisan bill introduced in the State Senate. So where do the state’s pot laws stand now? Here’s a brief summary of the of Pennsylvania marijuana laws.

Marijuana Under Pennsylvania Law

The possession, sale, trafficking, and cultivation of marijuana is illegal in most states, but a growing number of states have legalized its use. Nearly half of all states allow the medicinal use of cannabis. Marijuana remains illegal in Pennsylvania. Polls show a wave of support for medicinal marijuana in Pennsylvania, and a bill to legalize medicinal marijuana has bi-partisan support. So there's a possibility the law could change, but until then Pennsylvania law still makes it a crime to possess marijuana.

Pennsylvania Marijuana Statutes

The following chart highlights the main provisions of Pennsylvania marijuana laws.

Code Section

Tit. 35 §780-101, et seq.


Under 30 g.: misdemeanor, 30 days and/or $500; Over 30 g.: misdemeanor, 1 yr. and/or $5000 Subsequent offense over 30g.: 3 yrs. and/or $25,000


Over 1000 lbs.: felony, up to 10 yrs. and/or $100,000 or enough to recoup drug profit; Subsequent offense or sale to minor: double penalties



Notwithstanding state marijuana laws, federal law criminalizes the possession and sale of marijuana by way of the Controlled Substance Act. And in cases where state and federal law conflict, federal law always wins out. Up to this point, most federal law enforcement agencies have not shown a great deal of interest in intruding on states’ handling of the majority of marijuana cases. That being said, the federal government still has the authority to penalize everything from simple pot possession to the manufacturing and cultivation as well as trafficking and distribution of marijuana.

Pennsylvania Marijuana Laws: Related Resources

As you can see, state marijuana laws and where the overlap with federal prohibitions are constantly changing, and Pennsylvania’s laws in particular may be changing soon. You can contact a Pennsylvania drug crime attorney in your area if you would like to know your rights or need help with an existing drug case. You can also visit FindLaw's Drug Charges section for more additional and resources.

Get Professional Legal Help With Your Marijuana Case

Of all the possible drug charges in Pennsylvania and in other states, those involving marijuana tend to be the least severe. Still, a conviction on cannabis charges can derail your career or have other lasting effects. To get a head start on your case, consider reaching out to an experienced Pennsylvania defense attorney today.

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