Civic leaders in the borough of Steelton, Pennsylvania unanimously passed an ordinance to decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana on Tuesday evening. At a special meeting called to considerer the proposal, members of the borough council voted 5-0 to remove criminal penalties for first-time offenders possessing less than 30 grams of cannabis. Simple possession will instead be charged as a summary offense and be subject to a fine of $25 to $100.
Brian Proctor, the president of the borough council, said in a press release that the town was actively pursuing cannabis reform.
“Steelton Borough Council recognizes the changes in attitudes towards marijuana nationally, at the state level, and locally, and strives to be at the forefront of progressive marijuana policy,” said Proctor. “We believe policy needs to change with the times. That includes taking a new look at marijuana, its potential to benefit our community, and realigning criminal justice policy to appropriately fit marijuana-related crimes.”
Borough Manager Doug Brown said that decriminalization is just one aspect of the community’s new approach to pot.
“The passage of this ordinance signals the progressive direction Steelton is taking related to marijuana both in terms of righting a social wrong and preparing the borough for economic opportunity,” Brown said. “Since 2012, other states have shown that marijuana policy can be implemented in a responsible and beneficial manner. Steelton does not have the luxury of being stuck in the past or thumbing its nose at changing times; our survival depends on what is happening now and …