The Borough Council of State College, Penn., approved an ordinance that essentially decriminalizes the possession of marijuana.
The measure passed with a vote of 5-2 Monday evening, according to Onward State. Any person caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana is now subject to a non-traffic citation costing $250. There is also a civil penalty of $350 for smoking pot in public.
Councilman Evan Myers expressed that this is a step in the right direction, because “Penn State needs to get on the side of the students.” The ordinance will likely save students the aggravation of enduring lengthy legal processes for relatively petty crimes.
But it will also save local courts time and resources to deal with other more serious crimes. Similar statutes in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh yielded positive results, saving the city of brotherly love an estimated $2 million in just the first year.
Figuring out if this new ordinance will have any teeth depends on how, or if, it is implemented. One of the main topics during the debate of the statute pertained to enforcement, since Pennsylvania police do not abide by borough law, according to Onward State.
Council President Thomas “Doc” Daubert and council member Catherine Dauler were the two dissenting voters.
Daubert did not respond to media inquiry at the time this article was written.
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