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07/13/2024 12:12 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: May 7, 2024 05:12 PM
From: Representative Danilo Burgos
To: All House members
Subject: Decriminalizing Cannabis
In the U.S., more than 90 percent of cannabis-related arrests are due to cannabis possession alone. Low-level cannabis convictions potentially cause lifelong consequences as a result of the criminal convictions they carry. These consequences can include difficulty finding housing and employment among other unfair barriers. Furthermore, the prosecution of these crimes disproportionately affects people of color.
For this reason, I intend to introduce legislation that would change the grading and penalty for the possession of a small amount of cannabis. Under current law, personal possession of a small amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor and upon conviction for this offense, a person is required to be sentenced to a maximum of 30 days imprisonment or to pay a maximum fine of $500 or both. My legislation would provide that a person who possesses a small amount of cannabis would be guilty of a summary offense and upon conviction, would be ordered to pay a fine not exceeding $100 with no possibility of incarceration. This legislation is a vital step in reforming our criminal justice system and reducing racial disparities.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to create a more equitable criminal justice system and ensure taxpayers dollars are no longer wasted on low-level cannabis offenses.