Pa. senator wants to reform marijuana penalties - abc27 WHTM

Pa. senator wants to reform marijuana penalties

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A state senator who's a candidate for lieutenant governor has introduced two bills to relax Pennsylvania's laws for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Sen. Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) said one of his measures, Senate Bill 1307, would reduce possession of less than an ounce of marijuana to a summary offense for the first two incidents.

For following offenses, district attorneys would decide if criminal charges should be filed.

Stack, at a news conference Wednesday, said current law wastes law enforcement resources, clogs the criminal justice system, and consumes time that could be better spent arresting and prosecuting violent criminals.

His second proposal, Senate Bill 1308, would allow former offenders to have misdemeanor marijuana charges erased from their criminal records if they go five years without an arrest.

He said criminal convictions for possessing small amounts of pot can prevent reformed men and women from getting a good job and push them back into a cycle of crime and punishment.


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