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It’s Official – Pittsburgh City Council Votes To Decriminalize Marijuana


pittsburgh marijuanaBefore I went to work today, I posted an article highlighting the (at that time) upcoming vote on marijuana decriminalization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was very delighted to read on social media that the vote did indeed occur, and that the Pittsburgh City Council approved the proposal by a wide margin. Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

By a vote of 7-2, Pittsburgh City Council passed a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana this morning.

The bill allows city police to fine up to $100 for possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana, or 8 grams of hashish, instead of citing them for a misdemeanor. Its sponsor, Public Safety Committee chair Daniel Lavelle, previously said the measure was intended to “help break the damning life-long consequences of unemployment, lack of education, and being caught in a revolving criminal justice system.”

Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, who along with Darlene Harris voted against the bill, said she sympathized with those goals, but said it was “irresponsible” to pass such a bill at the local level. She noted that her district, which encompasses southern and western neighborhoods in the city, borders other municipalities where such measures have not been discussed.

To the two City Council members that voted against such a logical public policy change, shame on you. To the other seven that voted for more sensible marijuana laws in Pittsburgh, I tip my hat to you. I have always been a fan of local activism, and I hope that this vote increases the momentum for marijuana decriminalization at the state level in Pennsylvania. It won’t be long until statistics are released which show the savings in law enforcement resources due to today’s vote in Pittsburgh, and I’m hopeful that raises some eye brows at the Pennsylvania Legislature.


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Johnny Green


  1. While this has symbolic value, the police will continue to do whatever they have done in the past and charge individuals under state statutes. This is what happened in Denver. The citizens decriminalized, and arrests went up. Then, they voted to make this the lowest priority for police and arrests went up again. The October before the legalization vote had the highest number of arrests, kinda “we’ll show you.” When it was legalized, our dear Governor Hickenlooper, who made his fortune manufacturing and distributing the most dangerous drug in America, went around the country to whine about how the citizens of Colorado made a big mistake, even though they voted for it in higher margins than for him. I think it is the usual thinking of politicians: it is dangerous when the rabble take lawmaking into their own hands. He was truly offended that they ignored his pleas, but at least he went about and implemented the law quite well. Now Denver is the number one economic hot spot in the country.

  2. No, during alcohol prohibition, alcohol possession was not a crime or civil violation (no fine)

  3. “a vote of 7-2, Pittsburgh City Council passed a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana” =IS EQUAL TO= 7 city council members who actually have a chance at re-election and 2 city council members who if they are prudent will begin searching for another job! May I suggest the Marijuana industry?
    Perhaps those two could go be trimmers up in Michigan! LOL! just kidding losers! stay the hell away from beloved Cannabis Plant and our community! you lying prohibitionist pigs don’t deserve the blessings of Cannabis until you repent of your lies about Cannabis and ask for forgiveness from all people collectively for oppressing them with Marijuana prohibition!

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