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WIRE: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania cannabis decriminalization takes effect

Harrisburg, PA — Minor marijuana possession offenders are no longer subject to arrest in the city of Harrisburg under a new local ordinance that took effect last week.

The municipal measure, approved by members of the City Council in July, reduces local marijuana possession penalties for first-time and second-time offenders from a criminal misdemeanor to a summary offense, punishable by a $75 fine.

Harrisburg is the third major Pennsylvania city to decriminalize minor marijuana offenses, following the enactment of similar laws in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

State law classifies the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, possible driver’s license suspension, and a criminal record.

Earlier this month, the state’s auditor general publicly called for legalizing and taxing Pennsylvania’s marijuana market. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated that he would not support such a broad policy change, but that he is in favor of decriminalization.

For more information, please contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

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