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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 9, 2020 04:28 PM
From: Representative Ed Gainey
To: All House members
Subject: SAM – Small Amounts of Marijuana (Former HB 927)
Considering the local and nationwide progress on the issue of cannabis prohibition, it is inappropriate, if not unconscionable, to continue to subject thousands of Pennsylvanians to criminal prosecution for minor cannabis possession. Additionally, people of color are disproportionately charged for possessing marijuana at a significantly higher rate despite similar usage rates as their white counterparts. Furthermore, a misdemeanor conviction can have lifelong implications including loss of employment, loss of public housing and loss of educational loan eligibility. 

Approximately 68% of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, and the trajectory of the public’s support for legalization coincides with an increasing number of states who are proving the measure. I believe this is an issue in which the House of Representatives should follow the will of the people and downgrade the possession of a small amount of marijuana from a misdemeanor to a summary offense. 

We cannot afford either the short term or the long term effects of saddling Pennsylvanians with misdemeanor charges and convictions for minor cannabis possession. Please join me in putting Pennsylvania on the right side of criminal justice reform.

Introduced as HB204