Since 2015, marijuana use has remained steady in the United States, with 12% of adults partaking in it. This figure may not point to a cannabis renaissance. Yet, the relative ubiquity of marijuana may lead you to think little before smoking or vaping it on your property, in your vehicle or around town. But while some cities in Pennsylvania have decriminalized low-level possession offenses, the state has not.
Understanding York’s laws
York is among the handful of cities in Pennsylvania that have reduced penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana. In 2017, York’s city council voted to make the possession of 30 grams or less a civil infraction. If caught with this amount, you will pay a fine of $100 for your first offense. Your fine will increase to $250 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense. If you have committed more than three offenses in a five-year period, you will be subject to the state’s possession penalties instead.
Understanding Pennsylvania’s laws
Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws are harsher than York’s, even for first-time or low-level offenders. Possessing 30 grams or less is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $500, as well as up to 30 days of jail time. Your penalties could double for any additional conviction you receive. And if a police officer catches you in possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana, you could pay a fine of up to $5,000 and spend up to one year in jail.
The charges you could receive for marijuana possession depend on whether you live in a city that has decriminalized low-level offenses. Keep in mind, though, that recreational marijuana use remains illegal in in these jurisdictions – and in the state – and multiple offenses could lead to stiff penalties.