A bill to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis has passed the Pennsylvania state House Judiciary Committee, CBS reports.
The bill changes the penalties for those caught with under 30 grams of cannabis. Currently, such possession is a low-grade misdemeanor that would be a nearly permanent fixture on someone’s criminal record. The decriminalization bill would change that penalty to a summary offense similar to a traffic ticket, which carries a fine of up to $300.
The next milestone for the bill will be passing the state House and Senate. The good news is that — if the bill reaches Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) desk to be signed or vetoed — Gov. Wolf has previously come out in favor of decriminalizing cannabis on Twitter.
I support decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. Shouldn’t focus on incarcerating people for possession of small amounts of marijuana. https://t.co/YeqO8Ir3z5
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) March 1, 2017
Both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania have decriminalized possession within city limits — Philadelphia in 2014 and Pittsburgh in 2015. Through 2017, cannabis arrests in Philadelphia declined 75 percent.