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.

READ MORE: Southwest Philadelphia Block Renamed After Rev. Paul 'Earthquake' Moore

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.


READ MORE: Commuters Make Backup Plans Ahead Of SEPTA Strike Vote

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.



MORE NEWS: Camden County Voters Trickle In As New Jersey Starts Early Voting For The First Time