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Pa. Lawmaker Wants To Lower Penalty For Possession of Small Amount of Pot

(Pa. state senator Mike Stack, D-Phila.   Photo by Tony Romeo)

(Pa. state senator Mike Stack, D-Phila. Photo by Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A state senator from Philadelphia, who is also a candidate for lieutenant governor, is proposing to greatly reduce the penalties for marijuana possession in Pennsylvania.

Legislation has already been introduced to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania.  State senator Mike Stack (D-Phila.) is not proposing to do that, but rather to reduce possession of less than an ounce of pot to a summary offense -– the equivalent of a traffic ticket -– for the first two offenses.

And he has another bill that would make it easier for defendants to expunge their record.

“Taking them out of the criminal justice system and molding the punishment to more adequately fit the crime can save money and save someone from having this record of a mistake forever,” he said today.

 

Stack says what he calls “antiquated” marijuana laws clog the criminal justice system and disproportionately impact African-Americans.   He says his legislation is supported by Philadelphia DA Seth Williams.