With NJ legalizing the sale of marijuana at specified dispensaries, people in Pennsylvania now have access to the neighboring state to buy weed for recreational purposes. The law in New Jersey says that visitors to the state who are at least 21 years old can legally buy marijuana in all forms. But, what happens when the New Jersey marijuana is brought to Pennsylvania?
While medical marijuana is permitted in PA if you have the state’s approval, smoked or combustible cannabis products like joints are not legalized. Therefore, although marijuana is legalized in NJ, carrying it back to Pennsylvania could result in serious criminal penalties.
What Happens if You Purchase Marijuana in NJ and Carry it to PA?
If you decide to bring the recreational marijuana you bought in New Jersey back to Pennsylvania, you could run afoul of the law. If the police arrest you and have probable cause, they may search you in person and/or your car and charge you under Pennsylvania law with the illegal possession of a controlled substance.
Pennsylvania currently has some of the harshest laws in the country against the illegal possession of marijuana. Possession of small amounts of weed was decriminalized in some communities with reduced penalties, including Philadelphia. But the state still imposes jail time of up to 30 days along with a fine of up to $500 if you are found in possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana.
Possession of more than 30 grams of weed with the intent to distribute or deliver drugs could result in imprisonment for up to one year along with a fine of up to $5,000.
Moreover, under federal law, recreational weed continues to be considered an illegal substance. You can be charged with a misdemeanor for illegal possession, which has penalties of up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000 or more. Additional penalties under federal law may be imposed if you carry marijuana across state lines.
What Happens if You Have a Medical Marijuana Card in PA?
Having a medical card (license) in PA does not give you a free pass to carry or possess marijuana from other states. The state law says that patients are required to obtain their legal medical marijuana from a designated dispensary in Pennsylvania.
Even when you buy medical marijuana in PA as a card-carrying patient, you should retain the product along with its original packaging. This ensures that if you are stopped for a check, you can easily show that you purchased it legally.
Can Your Employer Remove You from Job in PA for Using Marijuana?
Yes. Under Pennsylvania law, the workers cannot seek accommodation for the use of medical marijuana during the course of the job.
Can You Use Marijuana and Drive in PA?
Driving while under the influence of weed in Pennsylvania is illegal. If the police stop you and suspect weed intoxication, they could arrest you and order you to undergo a drug test. If convicted, you will face a jail time of at least 72 hours along with a minimum fine of $1,000. Pennsylvania is among the handful of states with a zero-tolerance policy for driving while using weed.
Get an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney on Your Side
In Pennsylvania, you can face serious criminal penalties and jail time for illegal marijuana possession, driving while intoxicated, or drug distribution. Seasoned criminal defense lawyer Basil D. Beck III is ready to fight for your rights and help you achieve the best possible outcome if you are facing any weed-related charges. To set up a free and confidential consultation with our legal team, call us at 610-239-8870 or complete this online contact form.