When a person buys prescription narcotics or over-the-counter drugs from a pharmacy, the person expects to get a quality product because of the voluminous regulations that are imposed by the FDA to ensure safety. However, when a person chooses to buy illegal drugs off the street, the FDA regulations do not apply, so you must take a "buyer beware" approach. When a person is looking to hire a company or a person to provide a service, they often check online for reviews from former clients to ensure that they are dealing with a reputable businessperson. Regrettably, I do not believe that people that are involving in the illegal distribution of drugs are posting online profiles with client reviews. I represent many Penn State students that are charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia because they had a scale. Why would a student that was not dealing drugs have a scale? Because they didn't trust the dealer to actually give them the agreed upon amount, so the student wants to independently weigh the drug to ensure that he or she isn't being cheated.
A Texas woman recently felt that she had been cheated by her drug dealer when she inspected the product and felt that the marijuana was substandard. According to the online article, the woman tried to resolve the dispute by calling the dealer's family. Upon not getting any satisfaction from the family, she called the police and reported the bad weed delivery to them. To support her case, the woman turned over the small amount of marijuana that had been purchased for the officer's inspection.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Pennsylvania
While marijuana may be legal or de-criminalized in many states, it is still illegal in the vast majority of states, including Pennsylvania. The woman spent $40.00 on the marijuana, which means that she would have purchased less than 30 grams of weed. A person that possesses less than 30 grams of marijuana for personal use can be charged with Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana under 35 P.S. 780-113(a)(31). If convicted of the marijuana possession charge, a person faces a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail, a $500.00 fine, and a suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges. The woman could also be charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia under 35 P.S. 780-113(a)(32). A conviction of the paraphernalia charge would not result in a license suspension but does expose a person to up to 1 year in jail and a $2,500.00 fine. Because of a dispute over a $40.00 bag of marijuana, the woman now faces the possibility of having a misdemeanor criminal record, jail time, and payment of court costs and fines. She made a bad decision to call the police, but hopefully she makes a better decision to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle her case.