Although many states have legalized marijuana, Pennsylvania has yet to pass any laws regarding recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana has been legal here since 2016, but possessing any amount for other uses is still grounds for fines and a jail sentence.
However, Governor Tom Wolf and Lt. Governor John Fetterman have recently been considering legalization.
Pennsylvanians will have input on marijuana laws
Wolf and Fetterman are looking for Pennsylvania’s input on the topic before changing any policies. In February, they will be traveling across the state and offering listening sessions to gather residents’ thoughts. From there, they will consider everyone’s input before moving forward.
While we cannot predict exactly when legislature will reach a consensus, we know that laws are already being drafted, with room for change based on what Pennsylvanians discuss during the listening sessions. We probably will not receive more news until after the sessions, beginning in mid-February, have circulated through every county.
Marijuana possession is still a punishable crime
Even if marijuana is legalized in the near future, it is currently both a state and federal crime, which means you could suffer serious consequences if convicted.
In Pennsylvania, marijuana charges are based entirely on the amount you possess. Even possession of less than 30 grams could land you in jail for up to a month with hundreds in fines to pay. Criminal convictions have greater impact than just immediate penalties though. You could also struggle landing other opportunities, such as finding a job, if you have a criminal conviction on record.
The upcoming listening sessions are an opportunity to make your voice heard on the matter. For now, though, it is wise to avoid any risk of a drug charge until we know for certain that marijuana has been legalized.