Pittsburgh City Council to introduce ordinance decriminalizing the possession of under 30 grams of marijuana



Pittsburgh City Council to introduce ordinance decriminalizing the possession of under 30 grams of marijuana
On November 17, 2015, Public Safety Chair Councilman Daniel Lavelle will introduce an ordinance that will permit City of Pittsburgh Police to cite individuals found in possession of a “small amount” of marijuana under a local ordinance as opposed to charging them with misdemeanor level criminal offense. The Ordinance will create a civil fine of up to $100.00 for open possession of under 30 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of hashish. Officers are authorized to seize the suspected contraband and issue a civil fine similar to a parking ticket to individuals who are not engaged in any other criminal conduct.

Approximately 1000 individuals are charged with a misdemeanor level marijuana possessory offense in Pittsburgh annually. Almost all have the criminal charge reduced to a non-traffic summary citation at the first stage of criminal proceedings. Individuals charged with misdemeanor possession must be fingerprinted and risk loss of employment and housing, especially public housing. Despite similar usage between caucasians and African Americans, African American Pittsburghers are charged with minor marijuana possession offenses at a rate of 5 – 1 compared to their white counterparts.

Nationally, Pittsburgh joins a growing trend of local municipalities enacting similar laws to protect its citizens. In 2012 the City of Chicago moved to decriminalize small amounts allowing police to issue tickets instead of making an arrest. In 2014 Washington D.C. passed a similar ordinance providing for a $25.00 fine for possession of a small amount. Philadelphia’s decriminalization ordinance has resulted in an 80% reduction in custodial arrests for small amounts of marijuana.

“We are very excited that Pittsburgh will follow in the footsteps of Philadelphia and others across the country and embrace cannabis reform. Through the leadership of Public Safety Chair Daniel Lavelle and the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation Pittsburgh will no longer prioritize cannabis prosecution. Recreational and medicinal consumers in our great City can at least know that their police are not interested in arresting them and potentially ruining their lives over the possession of a simple, non-toxic plant.”

For more information:

Patrick K. Nightingale, Pittsburgh NORML – 412.225.7959 or pknlaw@mac.com

Aggie Brose, Bloomfield Garfield Corp. – 412-441-6950 ext 15 or aggie@bloomfield-garfield.org

Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce medical cannabis round table videos

The event, sponsored by the Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce, will present viewpoints from both sides of the controversy. The Chamber remains neutral on the topic, but is presenting the information so that individuals and businesses have a better understanding of the issues.

Speakers at the Medical cannabis Round Table include Attorney Patrick Nightingale, a criminal defense attorney and outspoken proponent of medical cannabis; Ryan West, CFI, LPQ of Greenbriar Treatment Centers, he is a published expert on the subject of workplace drug and alcohol addiction, including a specialized article on cannabis use in the workplace; State Senator Mike Folmer, the sponsor of Senate Bill 3; and Danielle McGurk, the parent of two children who could benefit from medical cannabis to treat a severe form of epilepsy. Also speaking will be Michael Palladini, RPh MBA CAC, a registered pharmacist who has developed training materials focused on prescription drug abuse and marijuana use and abuse.

PAMCS Medical Cannabis Industry Event Saturday, September 19 at 3:00pm – 5:00pm


The Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Society is hosting an event with two of the leaders in the emerging medicinal cannabis industry. Matt Mallory has applied for and has been awarded licenses in Illinois. Aaron Silverman has successfully worked with clients to win licenses and establish successful patient focused business.

If you are seriously thinking about entering the medicinal cannabis industry as it develops here in Pennsylvania you cannot miss this event.

The Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis is hosting an informative medical cannabis industry event on Saturday, September 19th from 3 – 5 pm with special guest speakers: Matthew Mallory, two state license awardee, who will be presenting “Breaking into the Medical Cannabis Industry” and CEO, Aaron Silverman of Canna Group Inc. who will be presenting “Bridging the Gap between Green Street and Wall Street”.

Interested in pursuing a license to cultivate, process or dispense medical cannabis in the Commonwealth of PA? Sign up for our VIP Admission and have an opportunity for a one hour, small group consultation with both medical cannabis industry experts/consultants immediately following the event.

General Admission: $10.00
At the Door: $20.00
VIP Admission*: $50.00

Register for the PAMCS Medical Cannabis Industry event at: https://www.classy.org/pittsburgh/events/pamcs-industry-event-pittsburgh-9/19/15/e56396

*VIP Admission includes a one hour, small group consultation with both medical cannabis industry experts/consultants immediately following the event.