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Marijuana Reform news in Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh Closer to Medical Marijuana Reform

Pittsburgh Council to Review Marijuana Reform:

Although Pennsylvania is not one of the states that has passed legislation on medical or recreational marijuana reform, the city of Pittsburgh is taking some action to reform.  City Councilman Daniel Lavalle reviewed legislation this week that will allow city of Pittsburgh officers to issue a fine instead of a misdemeanor summons for possession of less than3 grams of marijuana or eight grams of hashish.  If the ordinance is approved, city officers could issue a fine of up to $100 and seize the drugs instead of the misdemeanor summons.

Each year, approximately 1,000 individuals in the city are issued a misdemeanor summons for marijuana possession  every year.  The majority of these cases then move through the legal process and ultimately have their offense reduced to a non-traffic citation.  The current process that city officers are forced to take regarding a marijuana offense is time consuming and costly for all involved.  Considering the number of states that are passing legislation to reform marijuana laws, this change by the city of Pittsburgh would fall in line with others seeking reform in the U.S.  Currently in the U.S., there are 23 states that have passed legislation that permits medical marijuana in some form.  4 states have passed legislation that permits recreational marijuana use in some form.  Although Pennsylvania is not yet included in the list of states that have reformed marijuana law at the state level, local support in areas like Pittsburgh could help to promote state level consideration.

Pennsylvania Marijuana Reform News Review Today: 

According to current state law, marijuana is illegal in Pennsylvania.  Possession of marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania is considered a misdemeanor offense.  Distribution of marijuana is considered a felony.  A fine and potential incarceration could be the consequence for any offense.  In addition to being illegal in the state, marijuana remains illegal in the eyes of the federal government.  It remains listed as a Schedule 1 drug, categorized with other drugs like cocaine and ecstacy.  The federal government still considers marijuana a very dangerous drug that is very addictive.

Marijuana reform legislation in the state of Pennsylvania at the state level is at a standstill.  According to Rep. Ryan Bizarro, movement on supplemental legislation like marijuana reform has been slow-going due, in part, to concerns linked to the state budget.  Last year, the Pa. Senate passed legislation on the medicinal use of marijuana.  Since that time though, little support has been offered regarding the marijuana reform legislation.  It appears that the policy-makers in the state of Pa. are not yet ready to act as the catalyst for marijuana reform.



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