Township of Whitemarsh, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Whitemarsh as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-8-2020 by Ord. No. 1004]
The purpose and intent of this article is to promote the general safety and welfare of the public by establishing a mechanism to process the minor nonviolent offenses of personal possession or personal use of a small amount of marijuana and personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia within the limits of Whitmarsh Township and is not to promote or condone the possession or use of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MARIJUANA
All forms or varieties of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, as defined by Pennsylvania's Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq.
MARIJUANA PARAPHERNALIA
Any device, instrument, apparatus or object used, intended to be used, or designed to be used for introducing marijuana into the human body or for storing, containing, concealing or transporting marijuana.
PERSONAL POSSESSION
Actual physical custody of or the ability to exercise control over or have access to, for the sole purpose of one's own personal use. The term "personal possession" does not include possession with intent to deliver, distribute, transfer, or sell.
PERSONAL USE
Introducing marijuana into one's own body, which includes smoking, inhaling, exhaling, vaporizing, or burning any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other such device which contains marijuana or marijuana extracts.
SMALL AMOUNT
Thirty grams or less of marijuana or eight grams or less of hashish as set forth in Pennsylvania's Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(31).
A. 
So long as marijuana shall be listed as a controlled substance in the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, 1972, April 14, P.L. 233, No. 64, § 1 et seq., 35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq., no person shall be in possession of a small amount of marijuana as defined in said Act.
B. 
The following shall be violations of this section of this article:
(1) 
Personal possession of a small amount of marijuana; or
(2) 
Personal use of a small amount of marijuana.
C. 
Any person who is found in violation of this section of this article shall be issued a nontraffic summary citation by the police or other authorized law enforcement officer or, alternatively, the officer can obtain the subject's name and address and later send the citation by first-class mail, all to be in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
D. 
Any police officer or other authorized law enforcement officer who observes a violation of this section of this chapter by a person under 18 years of age shall:
(1) 
Temporarily detain the minor and follow all existing procedures for the handling of summary offenses committed by a minor;
(2) 
Advise the parent or guardian that the minor was found in personal possession of a small amount of marijuana or to have been engaging in personal use of a small amount of marijuana;
(3) 
Issue a copy of the citation to the parent or guardian advising that he or she is responsible for the payment of the violation fine; and
(4) 
Provide the parent or guardian with contact information for a local agency where substance abuse educational and treatment programs are available.
A. 
So long as drug paraphernalia includes objects used in connection with marijuana possession or use in the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, 1972, April 14, P.L. 233, No. 64, § 1 et seq., 35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq., no person shall be in possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
B. 
It shall be a violation of this section of this article to be in personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
C. 
Any person who is found in violation of this section of this article shall be issued a nontraffic summary citation by the police officer or other authorized law enforcement officer or, alternatively, the officer can obtain the subject's name and address and later send the citation by first-class mail, all to be in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
D. 
Any law enforcement officer who observes a violation of this section of this article by a person under 18 years of age shall:
(1) 
Temporarily detain the minor and follow all existing procedures for the handling of summary offenses committed by a minor;
(2) 
Advise the parent or guardian that the minor was found in personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia;
(3) 
Issue a copy of the citation to the parent or guardian advising that he or she is responsible for the payment of the violation fine; and
(4) 
Provide the parent or guardian with contact information for a local agency where substance abuse educational and treatment programs are available.
A. 
The penalty for a first, second, and third violation of § 47-3 of this article relating to personal possession of a small amount of marijuana shall be a fine of $50.
B. 
The penalty for a first, second, and third violation of § 47-3 of this article relating to personal use of a small amount of marijuana shall be a fine of $50.
C. 
The penalty for a first, second, and third violation of § 47-4 of this article relating to personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia shall be a fine of $50.
D. 
Subsequent offenses. A person is only eligible to be charged under this article for three offenses within a five-year period. All subsequent offenses shall be charged in accordance with federal and Pennsylvania law.
E. 
The court may, in its discretion, suspend the fine imposed under this section if the person found guilty agrees to and does, in fact, perform such community service as the court deems appropriate, of as much as 25 hours for a determination of guilt for personal possession of a small amount of marijuana or personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia and 25 hours for personal use of a small amount of marijuana.
A. 
A nontraffic summary citation issued under this article shall be enforced in accordance with the procedures established by the Whitemarsh Township Police Department for enforcement of summary violations.
B. 
The Chief of Police or his or her designee shall report to the Board of Supervisors regarding implementation of this article on an annual basis for the first three years following adoption of this article.
C. 
This article shall not be construed to supersede any existing Pennsylvania or federal law. The Whitemarsh Township police and law enforcement officers retain the authority to enforce any applicable laws, and it is the Board of Supervisors' intent that such law enforcement officers may undertake custodial arrests where there is probable cause to believe that a criminal offense other than personal possession or personal use of a small amount of marijuana or personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia has been or is being committed.