Office of Mayor William Peduto
Statement on Enforcement of City Ordinance on Small Amounts of Marijuana

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 2, 2016) Mayor William Peduto made the following statement today regarding questions about a bill approved last year regarding city enforcement of prohibitions on possessing and smoking small amounts of marijuana:

“The intent of this bill was -- and remains -- to lessen the impacts of marijuana charges on the lives of city youth. Nothing has changed in that regard. Fines for smoking are reduced to $100, for possession of small amounts to $25, and once the ordinance is fully implemented violations should not appear on most criminal background checks.

The Law Department and the Police Bureau are working on ways to enforce those provisions in a manner acceptable to Common Pleas Court, and small adjustments to the law may be required if necessary.

The city’s ordinance does all it can under existing state law. Pittsburgh can not go as far as a similar law approved in Philadelphia, as that city has a civil fines office that processes such citations outside the criminal courts system. No such office exists here.

The fact is that full decriminalization of small marijuana offenses must be done at the state level, as must be its approval for medical uses.”

 

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