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.