Many Penn State students incorrectly assume that marijuana possession is not a big deal because marijuana is legal is some states. The problem with that thinking is that while marijuana is legal is SOME states, it is NOT legal in most states. Former LSU football player Tyrann Mathieu found out the hard way that marijuana possession is a serious offense. Mathieu and three other former LSU football players were charged with marijuana possession charges. One of the former LSU players was caught with multiple packages of marijuana in his backpack and was charged with Possession With Intent to Distribute.
Penn State Marijuana Possession Charges
In Centre County drug cases, there is a huge difference between a charge of Possession With Intent to Deliver Marijuana and Possession of Marijuana. If a person simply possesses marijuana for the first time, the most severe charge that could be filed is an ungraded misdemeanor marijuana posession offense that carries a maximum sentence of 1 year incarceration, $5,000.00 fine, and a suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges. If the person possesses less than 30 grams of marijuana, then the possible punishment is reduced to 30 days incarceration, $300.00 fine, and a suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges. If the person has a limited prior criminal history, a person charged with marijuana possession is probalby eligible to participate in the first time offender program known as ARD. Completion of the ARD program avoids a conviction and permits the dimissal and expungement of the marijuana possession charges.
However, if the police file Possession With Intent to Deliver marijuana charges, the offense is a felony. As most State College drug cases occur relatively near Penn State, the felony drug delivery charge carries a possibly mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years incarceration under the "drug free school zones" law.