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Posts tagged "drug paraphernalia"

State College Marijuana Decriminalization is Misunderstood

"Marijuana is decriminalized in State College! It is now the equivalent of a parking ticket!" Thanks to some irresponsible and inaccurate media reports coupled with a misunderstanding of criminal law, this is the misinformed belief a lot of Penn State students and Centre County residents now have. Given all the confusion generated by this ordinance, it is incumbent upon criminal defense lawyers like me to set the record straight. The bottom line is that the decriminalization ordinance is essentially symbolic, and will have little if any effect on the Penn State community. stoner-girls-smoking-weed-gallery-2-50.jpg

State College Marijuana Decriminalization is Misunderstood

"Marijuana is decriminalized in State College! It is now the equivalent of a parking ticket!" Thanks to some irresponsible and inaccurate media reports coupled with a misunderstanding of criminal law, this is the misinformed belief a lot of Penn State students and Centre County residents now have. Given all the confusion generated by this ordinance, it is incumbent upon criminal defense lawyers like me to set the record straight. The bottom line is that the decriminalization ordinance is essentially symbolic, and will have little if any effect on the Penn State community. stoner-girls-smoking-weed-gallery-2-50.jpg

As Marijuana Attitudes Change, Naivety about Legal Consequences Increases

Marijuana is more socially acceptable now than ever before, especially among young people. In the modern world, those who don't toke really don't care if other people do, yet not that long ago, many people uninitiated into cannabis culture looked down on reefer and those who smoke it. Of course, the irony is that many of the Archie Bunker types, who berated hippies and stoners, drank alcohol and smoked tobacco, but now we have gotten to the point where smoking cigarettes in public carries a far greater social stigma than smoking cannabis in one's own home. In fact, Archie Bunker would be spinning in his TV Land grave if he knew that being gay and smoking weed are far less violative of 21st Century societal norms than his habit of smoking cigars and throwing around racial slurs. Archie.Bunker.jpg

Victim of Marijuana Rip-Off Calls Police to Complain

People call the police and 911 all the time for inappropriate reasons, but a Texas woman took things to a new level of daftness when she called the police to complain that the $40 bag of marijuana she bought was unsmokable. Evelyn Hamilton was distraught that the dime bag was nothing more than stems and seeds, which certainly gives her just reason to complain, but why she chose to bring this matter to the police is beyond me. stems.and.seeds.jpg

Pennsylvania Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Still Needs Some Work

The marijuana decriminalization bill recently introduced by Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Stack is a nice first step, but does not address all the current problems caused by Prohibition. The bill would reduce possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use (less than 30 grams) to a summary offense for the first two offenses. Anyone unlucky enough to receive a third small amount of marijuana charge could be charged with an ungraded misdemeanor, at the discretion of the district attorney. Most Pennsylvania summary offenses are punishable by up to 90 days in jail, but Senator Stack's bill would eliminate the possibility of jail time for the first two convictions. Rather than jail time or probation, defendants would be subject to court costs and a fine not to exceed $500. marijuanabill.jpg

Pennsylvania Teen Conceals Stolen Property and Drugs in Rectum

A Pennsylvania teen is accused of receiving stolen property in a very unique manner. Hanover Police allege that 18 year old Christopher Scheller managed to conceal four stolen bracelets, 11 stolen rings, a metal smoking device and synthetic marijuana in his rectum, which may every well defy everything physicians had known about human anatomy and physicists had known about the space time continuum. Christopher.Scheller.mugshot.jpg

Centre County Expungement Filing Fees See Major Increase

Recently, Centre County, Pennsylvania defense attorneys received notice that the filing fees for expungements will increase from $15 to $75 effective January 2, 2014. The filing fee had remained at $15 for many years, even though it was costing the Clerk of Courts Office a lot more than $15 to handle the voluminous, bureaucratic paperwork and procedures associated with each expungement filing. With the increased fee, I suspect that the Centre County Clerk of Courts will go from losing money on expungements to making a small profit, which will offset losses in other areas. Centre.County.Courthouse.jpg

Former Penn State LB Recruit Enters Favorable Plea Agreement

Zayd Issah, an erstwhile highly touted linebacker in the 2013 Penn State recruiting class, has accepted a favorable plea offer, which will spare him a violent felony conviction and additional jail time. During Arts Fest in downtown State College last summer, Issah was involved in an altercation with police, leading to two counts of aggravated assault on police officers, one count of simple assault, five counts of resisting arrest and one count of possession of small amount of marijuana for personal use. Pursuant to the plea agreement accepted by Judge Pamela A. Ruest of the Centre County Court of Common Pleas, Issah pled guilty to simple assault, resisting arrest and possession of a small amount of marijuana for a sentence of five days to 23.5 months. Issah previously served five days before posting bail, so he will serve additional jail time in this case only if he violates parole. zayd.issah.jpg

Why Pennsylvania Drug Felonies are Rarely ARD Eligible

As a criminal defense attorney who represents a lot of Penn State students, there is one characteristic common to all of my college student clients: they want to avoid a criminal record. ARD, which stands for "Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition" is a program for first time offenders in Pennsylvania. Successful completion of the ARD program allows a defense attorney to file a motion seeking dismissal of charges and expungement of the defendant's record. gavel.pot.leaf.jpeg

Pennsylvania Coach and Teacher Charged with Drug Paraphernalia Keeps Positions

In a moment of sanity among elected officials, the South Middleton School Board unanimously voted to retain Boiling Springs wrestling coach and driver's ed teacher Rodney Wright, who has a pending charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. This is a welcome decision at a time when so many school districts take a zero tolerance approach to drugs and alcohol, without looking at the individual facts of a case. The fact that Mr. Wright received overwhelming support form the Boiling Springs community is also quite refreshing. Mr. Wright has had a stellar record as a wrestling coach, and his $2,663 annual wrestling coach salary is a mere pittance when one considers the number of hours he spends coaching. Boiling.Springs.High.School.jpg