Pittsburgh residents got an early Christmas gift when Mayor Bill Peduto signed into law an ordinance decriminalizing the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana, which was approved by the city council earlier in December. Other forms of cannabis, including hashish, were also decriminalized, as well as the act of smoking marijuana in public. However, smokers beware: police officers still have the power to issue a civil citation with fines from $25 to $100, depending on the violation. “If you are found in possession of a certain quantity or less, you’ll get a $25 ticket,” according to Mayor Peduto. Nevertheless, in a thorough analysis of the new law, Carnegie Mellon University found that it is expected to save Pittsburgh roughly $1 million in annual enforcement costs.
The councilman that Pittsburgh residents are thanking for proposing this bill is Mr. Daniel Lavelle, who was the main advocate behind the 7-2 vote victory. Some analysts even predict that this initiative could snowball into possible legalization for Pennsylvania sometime in the future.
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Picture by Patrick Reddick
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