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PA House Panel Reduces Penalties For Small Amounts Of Marijuana

/ WDAC

HARRISBURG – The PA House Judiciary Committee approved a bill reducing penalties for most cases of possession of small amounts of marijuana. Currently, such possession is a misdemeanor subject to up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Taxpayers must pay for prosecutors to handle the cases, court costs associated with the proceedings, and jail for those found guilty. PennDOT also suspends the criminal’s driver’s license. House Bill 928 would reduce the penalties for most cases of possession of small amounts, consisting of less than 30 grams, of marijuana. The penalty for a first or second offense would be reduced from a misdemeanor to a summary offense. Those who violate the law would be subject to a citation, similar to a traffic ticket. The fine for the first or second offense would be a maximum of $300. If the person continues to break the law, the criminal would be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor and a mandatory $1,000 fine and a six-month suspension of their driver’s license. The bill was amended to also state if a person is found to have possession of marijuana on school grounds, they would face a general misdemeanor charge. The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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