Pennsylvania: Measure Pending to Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties

Friend,

Legislation is pending to reduce minor marijuana possession penalties and members of the House Transportation Committee are scheduled to vote on HB 928 TOMORROW.

Under current law, possession of up to 30 grams is third-degree misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine and a driver’s license suspension if convicted by a plea or trial.

House Bill 928 amends state law so that first and second marijuana possession offenses (up to 30 grams) are reduced from misdemeanor offenses to a summary offense, punishable by a fine only.

Click here to contact you elected officials in support of reducing marijuana possession penalties.

Thanks for all you do,
The NORML Team

Rep. Ed Gainey discussing marijuana decriminalization bill this Sunday in Erie.

Rep. Ed Gainey will be addressing the Northwest PA Chapter ACLU in Erie regarding his bill, H.B.195, which would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.


Northwest PA Chapter ACLU’s Spring Lecture

2- 4 p.m. Sunday, April 23

Raymond M. Blasco Memorial Library Admiralty Room
160 E. Front St., Erie, PA 16507

The event is free and open to the public.

The bill would change a conviction of the possession of small amounts of marijuana (30 grams or less) or hashish (8 grams or less) to a summary offense, reduced from a misdemeanor.

Reducing the criminal charge to a summary offense would alleviate the stigma that can follow a misdemeanor conviction for life.

A misdemeanor conviction can limit future employment opportunities and bar the person from public housing and college loans. Reducing the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana will help keep those pathways open for the approximately 18,000 Pennsylvanians convicted of minor possession charges every year.

This bill also would align state law with local ordinances that have been adopted in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Lancaster.

Pittsburgh NORML executive director Patrick Nightingale will be joining him.

If you would like more information on decriminalization in Pennsylvania, we have two pamphlets you can download from the Pennsylvanian cannabis association  and the Keystone cannabis coalition.