Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Laws and Legislation by Skinner Law Firm
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PENNSYLVANIA MEDICAL MARIJUANA LEGISLATION

PENNSYLVANIA MEDICAL MARIJUANA LEGISLATION

Pennsylvania does not currently permit medicinal marijuana; however, legislation was proposed to the General Assembly in the 2011-2012 legislative session to legalize medical marijuana, known as Senate Bill 1003 or “The Governor Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.”

The bill has not yet been voted on, but hearings about medical marijuana legalization were held before the House Health and Human Services Committee in 2009 and 2010 where numerous religious leaders, medical experts, doctors and scientists testified about the positive effect of medical marijuana on certain diseases and supported medical marijuana legalization.

Many foreign countries, fifteen states, and Washington D.C. have already legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Additionally, many studies show the positive effects of medical marijuana and several health organizations believe there is at least some medicinal benefit to marijuana.

West Chester Medical Marijuana Attorney

If you have been arrested for a medical marijuana offense in West Chester, Pennsylvania, then it is important to speak to an experienced attorney. Michael J. Skinner is knowledgeable with Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious punishments. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 for a consultation about your alleged offense today.


The Governor Raymond Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act

SB 1003 was recently proposed to the Pennsylvania legislature to legalize medicinal marijuana in the state. The bill would prohibit the arrest, prosecution and/or assessment of penalties against individuals qualifying for medical marijuana or their authorized caregiver.

A qualifying individual and caregiver would be allowed to possess up to six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana.

Individuals and their caregivers would be required to register with the Department of Health of the Commonwealth and would be issued registry identification cards.

The medical marijuana legislation also limits arrest and prosecution against individuals who are in the presence of medical marijuana for constructive possession of marijuana, conspiracy or any other marijuana offense.

The bill would not apply to individuals under the age of 18 unless they have written parental consent from their parent or guardian and their physician has told the minor and parent or guardian about possible risks and benefits.

However, someone who drives while under the influence of medical marijuana would not be immune from prosecution for DUI marijuana.

Read more about Pennsylvania medical marijuana legalization Senate Bill 1003.


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Individuals Who Qualify for Medical Marijuana Under SB 1003

Individuals who qualify for medical marijuana under the bill include those who suffer from:

  • AIDS,
  • Cancer,
  • Crohn’s disease,
  • Epilepsy,
  • Glaucoma,
  • HIV,
  • Multiple Sclerosis,
  • Persistent and severe muscle spasms,
  • Seizures,
  • Severe nausea,
  • Severe or chronic pain,
  • “Wasting Syndrome,” or
  • Any other weakening medical treatment recognized as treatable with marijuana.

Qualifying individuals would also be required to register with the Department of Health of the Commonwealth, submit certain documentation and fill out paperwork.


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Pennsylvania Compassion Centers and Dispensaries

The proposed medical marijuana bill also would permit compassion centers to grow, process and/or distribute medical marijuana without penalty, arrest or prosecution. Compassion centers are more commonly known as dispensaries and are locations where marijuana can be dispensed for medical purposes.

Compassion centers would also be required to follow certain rules and regulations, maintain documentation of all marijuana growth, processing or distribution, and permit the Department of Health of the Commonwealth to inspect their records.


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Current Marijuana Charges for Medicinal Marijuana

  • Possession of 30 grams or less of medical marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine not more than $500.
  • Possession of more than 30 g of medical marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and/or a fine not more than $5,000.
  • Distribution of 30 g or less of medical marijuana without an exchange of money is treated the same as simple possession of 30 grams or less of medical marijuana.
  • Sale, delivery or distribution of 1,000 lbs or less of medical marijuana is a felony punishable by one to three years in prison, with a statutory maximum of five years.  Additionally, the individual may be subject to fines ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. If the individual has a prior drug conviction, they will be given a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years and a maximum fine.
  • Sale, delivery or distribution of more than 1,000 lbs of medical marijuana is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and/or a fine not more than $100,000.
  • Sale, delivery or distribution of medical marijuana to a minor where the seller is 21 or older is a felony with double the possible penalties for a distribution offense.

Any second or subsequent marijuana or drug conviction increases the possible penalties to double the first offense punishments.


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Understanding Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Laws

Contact the attorney at the Skinner Law Firm today for a consultation about your alleged marijuana offense in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas of Lancaster County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County. Michael J. Skinner is an experienced West Chester marijuana lawyer who will listen to the facts of your particular situation, and help you identify any defenses or mitigating circumstances to your charge in order to find the best possible outcome of your situation

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