Know Your Marijuana Rights for the DNC in Philly

Know Your Marijuana Rights for the DNC in Philly

Know your rights for marijuana rally events at the DNC.

Contact: –   (267) 702 3731

Coming to town for the DNC? Get to know our local marijuana laws!

In October of 2014 the City of Philadelphia decriminalized possession of marijuana. That means tickets are given for small amounts.

If you are a cannabis consumer, medical marijuana patient or caregiver from another state here’s what you can expect.

In Philadelphia:

Police departments within the city are instructed to give Code Violation notices for possession of marijuana and smoking in public.

The tickets are: $25 for possessing less than 30 grams and $100 for smoking in public. They can be paid on the city website and do not generate a permanent record.

During the DNC there will be thousands of police deployed from departments across the country. There will also be a number of rally events that may include marijuana smoking by protesters.

Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted on 7/22 about the topic:


PhillyNORML met with members of the Philadelphia Police Department on July 22. 2016 to make sure decrim would apply to all 50,000 guests expected in the city for the convention.

PhillyNORML’s Chris Goldstein was told that if any member of law enforcement does encounter a protester with marijuana during the DNC, a Philadelphia Police Department officer will be called up, the offender will be taken to a processing tent for a decrim ticket will be issued.

Having a photo ID is not required but does makes the ticketing process quicker. PPD also said that medical marijuana registration cards issued by Departments of Health in other states would considered valid ID for processing.

PLEASE BE AWARE: Philadelphia Police and any police officers at the DNC can always perform a custodial arrest for any amount of marijuana at their discretion.

Philadelphia also operates a Small Amount of Marijuana diversion process for those who do get handcuffs for pot. This requires completing an education class and pleading guilty to a disorderly persons offense.

A list of planned marijuana rally events during the DNC so far:

MONDAY 7/25 at 11AM – JFK BLVD/ City Hall – DCMJ Jaywalk

MONDAY 7/25 at 4:20PM – WELLS FARGO CENTER- Smell The Freedom demonstration

MONDAY 7/25 7:30PM – Connie’s Ric Rac 9th & Washington – DNC Marijuana Welcome Party

TUESDAY 7/26 – 4PM – JFK BLVD/ City Hall – East Coast Cannabis Coalition “End the War on Drugs”


For more than a decade PhillyNORML has organized marijuana rally events and marches on city land. These have always been peaceful and often include public smoking as an act of civil disobedience.

In Pennsylvania (outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh):

Possession – Less than 30 grams of cannabis or 8 grams of hash/concentrate is an uncategorized misdemeanor under state law. This will mean an arrest and a court appearance at a later time. A fine of up to $500 and 30 days in jail can be levied.

Medical cannabis – Under a new law, Pennsylvania’s Act 16, limited forms of medical cannabis oil were legalized. The program is NOT running yet. There is no reciprocity or medical necessity defense for patients registered in other states’ programs. Normal possession laws and decriminalization ordinances would apply.

Paraphernalia – Pipes, bongs, rolling papers, ziplock bags, grinders and even plastic storage bottles can bring a separate misdemeanor charge.

DUI/DWI – Pennsylvania has a “zero tolerance per se” law on driving while intoxicated. If you are suspected of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana you will be asked to submit a blood sample. Refusing to give a blood sample also has consequences. The threshold for THC is extremely low; 1ng/ml of THC in the blood.

Out of state residents caught up in a DUI case in Pennsylvania could face several court appearances and, if convicted, suspension of driving license in the state of residence along with probation, even jail (if this is a second or third conviction).


Those who are planning on attending any outdoor activities during the DNC next week please prepare for severe heat and humidity. One bottle of water will not be enough! Coolers, ice and cases of water along with hats, sunscreen and other protection are a must. A towel and a few extra t-shirts also recommended. Please keep on eye an daily weather as some thunderstorms may roll in late-afternoons and evenings.

There will be water stations at FDR Park adjacent to the Wells Fargo Center.

Contact: Chris Goldstein    (267) 702 3731

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