Pennsylavania Cities Continue to Embrace Decriminalization of Marijuana


With the recent passage of a marijuana decriminalization ordinance, the City of York joins Philadelphia, State College, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg in no longer criminalizing the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana. Following several meetings to discuss the proposal, members of city council heard from Chris Goldstein, former executive director of Philadelphia NORML and Les Stark, executive director of the Keystone Cannabis Coalition. Both spoke in support of the proposal and even provided encouraging data showing a decline in marijuana arrests in other municipalities that adopted similar measures.

“Towns across Pennsylvania are moving away from handcuffs and towards issuing fines instead, that’s good news in a state where we have more than 18,000 consumers arrested every year,” said Chris Goldstein.

Similar to other decriminalization measures that have been adopted by municipalities in the Commonwealth, the ordinance approved by the York City Council replaces criminal prosecution and potential jail time with a simple fine or community service for those possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana. The ordinance also decriminalized the public consumption of marijuana.


While local governments across Pennsylvania continue to adopt measures to reduce the penalty for personal possession of marijuana from jail time to a simple fine, state lawmakers have been more apprehensive on the issue. But advocates are hopeful things will change as the conversation advances on the local level. “This really puts the pressure on legislators in Harrisburg to vote on statewide bills and start having the bigger conversation about full legalization,” added Goldstein.

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For future updates on marijuana law reform efforts in Pennsylvania, follow Philly NORML by visiting their website and Facebook page!

Surviving ALS # 4 – An Activist is Born

September, 2004 (18 years with ALS)- Cathy Jordan recalls the defining moment when she became an advocate for medical marijuana – In the 1990′s, a doctor overseeing a new drug trial for Lou Gehrig’s Disease told Cathy she would never get the cure because of her Cannabis use. Then we join Cathy in 1999, at one of her first press conferences, in Tallahassee, during the Govenor’s Drug Policy Summit. Toni Lemman, of the Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana, also speaks of the plight of Florida’s medical marijuana patients. Visit Cathy at: *** PLEASE READ Cannabis has the most healing effects for patients early in ALS disease progression. While it can be useful later, SMOKING ANYTHING CAN BE DANGEROUS IN ADVANCED CASES OF ALS, so check with your doctor if you have any concerns. This is what works for one person and is not intended to be medical advice. ***
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