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Bipartisan Pennsylvania Lawmakers Seek Co-Sponsors On Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

A pair of bipartisan state senators in Pennsylvania are working to garner support for a legislative proposal that would decriminalize marijuana, downgrading simple possession from a misdemeanor crime to a civil offense.

Sens. Sharif Street (D) and Camera Bartolotta (R) plan to reintroduce a bill from last session, SB 107, that would remove the possibility of jail time for possession and use of marijuana and instead impose monetary fines. The penalty for possession would be $25 under the pair’s proposed change, while the fine for consuming cannabis in public would be $100.

Street and Bartolotta circulated a co-sponsorship memo on Wednesday seeking additional sponsors for their forthcoming legislation.

“Medical marijuana has provided many patients with relief from their respective ailments and has aided them in their ability to cope effectively,” the memo says. “Yet, we still criminalize recreational cannabis and incarcerate those who possess small amounts of it. This seems injudicious and, frankly, inappropriate.”

“Too many Pennsylvanians are facing criminal penalties just for possessing a small amount of cannabis, which is medically legal.”

Under current Pennsylvania law, possession of a small amount of marijuana is considered a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500

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