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Marijuana

§ 7508.  Drug trafficking sentencing and penalties.

(a)  General rule.--Notwithstanding any other provisions of this or any other act to the contrary, the following provisions shall apply:

(1)  A person who is convicted of violating section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, where the controlled substance is marijuana shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment and a fine as set forth in this subsection:

(i)  when the amount of marijuana involved is at least two pounds, but less than ten pounds, or at least ten live plants but less than 21 live plants; one year in prison and a fine of $5,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: two years in prison and a fine of $10,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity;

(ii)  when the amount of marijuana involved is at least ten pounds, but less than 50 pounds, or at least 21 live plants but less than 51 live plants; three years in prison and a fine of $15,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; however, if at the time of sentencing the defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense: four years in prison and a fine of $30,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity; and

(iii)  when the amount of marijuana involved is at least 50 pounds, or at least 51 live plants; five years in prison and a fine of $50,000 or such larger amount as is sufficient to exhaust the assets utilized in and the proceeds from the illegal activity.

(a.1)  Previous conviction.--For purposes of this section, it shall be deemed that a defendant has been convicted of another drug trafficking offense when the defendant has been convicted of another offense under section 13(a)(14), (30) or (37) of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, or of a similar offense under any statute of any state or the United States, whether or not judgment of sentence has been imposed concerning that offense.

(b)  Proof of sentencing.--Provisions of this section shall not be an element of the crime. Notice of the applicability of this section to the defendant shall not be required prior to conviction, but reasonable notice of the Commonwealth's intention to proceed under this section shall be provided after conviction and before sentencing. The applicability of this section shall be determined at sentencing. The court shall consider evidence presented at trial, shall afford the Commonwealth and the defendant an opportunity to present necessary additional evidence and shall determine, by a preponderance of the evidence, if this section is applicable.

(c)  Mandatory sentencing.--There shall be no authority in any court to impose on an offender to which this section is applicable a lesser sentence than provided for herein or to place the offender on probation, parole or work release or to suspend sentence. Nothing in this section shall prevent the sentencing court from imposing a sentence greater than provided herein. Sentencing guidelines promulgated by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing shall not supersede the mandatory sentences provided herein. Disposition under section 17 or 18 of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act shall not be available to a defendant to which this section applies.

(d)  Appellate review.--If a sentencing court refuses to apply this section where applicable, the Commonwealth shall have the right to appellate review of the action of the sentencing court. The appellate court shall vacate the sentence and remand the case to the sentencing court for imposition of a sentence in accordance with this section if it finds that the sentence was imposed in violation of this section.

(e)  Forfeiture.--Assets against which a forfeiture petition has been filed and is pending or against which the Commonwealth has indicated an intention to file a forfeiture petition shall not be subject to a fine. Nothing in this section shall prevent a fine from being imposed on assets which have been subject to an unsuccessful forfeiture petition.

(f)  Growing plants.--When the controlled substance is marijuana in the form of growing plants and the number of plants is nine or less, weighing may be accomplished by law enforcement officials utilizing any certified scale convenient to the place of arrest for the purpose of determining the weight of the growing marijuana plant. The aggregate weight of the plant is to include the whole plant including the root system if possible. The weight is not to include any substance not a part of the growing plant.

(Mar. 25, 1988, P.L.262, No.31, eff. July 1, 1988; Dec. 19, 1990, P.L.1451, No.219, eff. imd.; June 22, 2000, P.L.345, No.41, eff. 60 days; Dec. 9, 2002, P.L.1439, No.183, eff. 60 days; June 10, 2003, P.L.10, No.4, eff. imd.; July 5, 2012, P.L.1050, No.122, eff. July 1, 2013)