Lancaster latest midstate city to consider decriminalizing marijuana

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Sep 6, 2018 7:27 PM

Lancaster City Hall. (Photo: Rachel McDevitt/WITF)

(Harrisburg) -- The City of Lancaster is the latest in the midstate to consider decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

A proposal would make possession of less than an ounce of pot a summary offense--basically the equivalent of a parking ticket.

City Council President James Reichenbach said the measure is part of a broader effort to fight poverty and increase opportunity in Lancaster.

"The focus isn't on marijuana," he said. "The focus is on doing the best we can to keep our citizens out of the criminal justice system, so they continue to have an opportunity to prosper and also free up the time for our police to do their jobs."

Possession is currently a misdemeanor charge.

Reichenbach says that type of criminal record can bar people from some jobs or federal financial aid for college.

The proposal is up for first consideration at a meeting Tuesday night, with passage possible by the end of the month.

Harrisburg and York have already reduced charges for marijuana possession.

An effort to do so in Reading failed last year.

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