PENNSYLVANIA – Two bipartisan state senators in Pennsylvania, Sens. Sharif Street (D) and Camera Bartolotta (R), are collaborating to reintroduce a bill, SB 107, aimed at decriminalizing cannabis.
According to Marijuana Moment, the proposed legislation seeks to downgrade simple possession from a misdemeanor to a civil offense, eliminating the possibility of jail time and replacing it with fines—$25 for possession and $100 for public consumption.
The senators argue that criminalizing recreational cannabis is inappropriate, especially when medical marijuana is legally recognized.
“Each year in Pennsylvania, thousands of people are charged with minor possessory offenses,” the senators wrote in a memo. “These charges permanently stain records and hinder an individual’s ability to obtain work, housing, and childcare. This legislation would ensure that the lives ordinary Pennsylvanians are not burdened by these insignificant charges.”
Despite historical Republican resistance, Democrats’ control of the House and support from the Democratic governor may pave the way for change. Senators Bartolotta and Street advocate for social equity in marijuana legalization and anticipate a multibillion-dollar industry, emphasizing inclusivity.