Pittsburgh City Council Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Dec 17, 2015 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh City Council Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

Pittsburgh's City Council voted in a preliminary vote to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. This means that a person caught with fewer than 30 grams of the drug would not go to jail, and would instead be subject to a small fine. This measure is still subject to a final vote, but has the support of the city's police department.

Currently, possessing any amount of marijuana is punishable with a $500 fine and a month in jail. This would lower the fine to between $25-$100, and would eliminate jail time for possessing small amounts of weed.

Councilman Daniel Lavelle, sponsor of the bill, says it will help reduce the number of lives destroyed by the consequences of the most minor marijuana offenses.
Consequences he believes are unnecessarily harsh.

Lavelle says Pittsburgh Police are on board.

“Chief McLay was involved in the creation of this legislation and is fully supportive of this legislation and has told us it’s going to be a training issue for his officers and is committed to that training,” Lavelle said.

Councilwoman Darlene Harris was the only council member to vote against the bill saying it’s not in harmony with the state, or other municipalities outside of the city limits.

I'm in favor of anything that resembles sensible drug laws, and this is a sensible drug law. Someone with 30 grams probably isn't a drug kingpin, and they don't deserve to go to jail and potentially have their life ruined over that.