If you cultivated 10 to 50 pounds, or 21 to 51 plants, you can draw three years in prison and $15,000 in fines for a first offense.
Marijuana charges as considered criminal offenses, and it’s best to have an experienced Pittsburgh marijuana defense attorney on your side to help you navigate the complexity of the legal process around these cases. Your attorney can help evaluate the evidence being brought against you by the Commonwealth and assess what can and cannot be used to prosecute you. It’s also important to have an attorney who understands how to fight these types of cases and work toward maintaining your rights by drawing on prior experience and an in-depth understanding of the Pittsburgh criminal system.
How a Marijuana Charge Can Harm You
Other possible consequences of a marijuana cultivation conviction:
If you have previously been convicted of any other drug, controlled substance, or marijuana cultivation offense in the past, the minimum mandatory penalties increase upon sentencing. A second offense is punishable by a $30,000 fine and a minimum prison sentence of four years. You could face even greater fines depending on how much money you made from the illegal marijuana cultivation.
Steps to Take if You Have Been Charged
If you grow marijuana in your basement or garden, and the police charge you with the cultivation of marijuana, you will need to retain a defense attorney who is knowledgeable in the current marijuana laws.
“It is critical that policy meet people where they are, and by allowing medical marijuana patients to grow cannabis plants at home, we can help ease the cost and accessibility burdens for this important medicine,” Sen. Laughlin said. “This legislation would go a long way towards helping everyday Pennsylvanians meet their health needs and ensuring everyone is treated equitably and fairly under Act 16.”
According to a news release from the Senators, in some cases, patients have to travel more than two hours to go to a dispensary. And for many people with serious medical conditions – such as cancer patients and the terminally ill – medical expenses, a lack of insurance coverage for medical marijuana and a reduced ability to work make it difficult for individuals to afford dispensary-purchased medical marijuana.
Nationally, on Monday, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina introduced legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana, according to the Associated Press. Mace said the measure would give states freer rein to pass their own laws and regulations without fear of federal reprisals.
Republican Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) and Democratic Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) are sponsoring the Medical Marijuana Home Cultivation Bill.
“Pennsylvania’s MMJ Advisory Board and the state Health Department have mounting data illustrating significant disparities in accessibility,” said Sen. Laughlin. “Cost has likewise been a big burden for patients for quite some time.”
The bill would allow medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania to grow a limited number of cannabis plants at their homes for personal use.
WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com — Pa. State Senators are sponsoring a medical marijuana bill that would allow patients to grow plants at home.
In the states that have reasonable safeguards — such as limiting the number of plants per household and requiring plants to be secure and out of the public view — home cultivation of cannabis hasn’t been a problem, according to the news release, and no state has repealed home cultivation.
According to The Marijuana Policy Project, 15 of the 19 states that have legalized adult-use cannabis and about half of the medical cannabis states allow for personal cultivation.