Reading Considers Decriminalizing Marijuana

Posted on October 25, 2016 by


America approaches a climax of fear, fueled by shooting deaths of unarmed men, heroin overdoses, and an opioid crisis. The people look for changes but are afraid to embrace them.  The legalization of Marijuana is one of these changes that the American populace has considered.

Still, this idea shocked people when it was abruptly proposed in Reading,PA, in order to decriminalize marijuana use and possession. This ordinance would change the punishment from criminal to civil penalties, similar to the punishment of parking violations.

This new ordinance would affect the possession of less than or equal to thirty grams of marijuana, the possession of Paraphernalia associated with its use, and smoking Marijuana in a public place

Police would, instead of arresting an offender, give him or her a ticket or a fine no less than seventy-five dollars and no more than one hundred dollars. This punishment is based closely on the law pertaining to having an open alcoholic container in public. This would prevent any criminal sanctions on the offender or their parents/guardians.

The decimalization of the drug would stop those caught using marijuana from suffering the consequences and repercussions that may affect them later in life.  With this new ordinance, offenders will no longer face discrimination for employment, college loans, college enrollment, or renting apartments.

Dona Reed, who proposed the ordinance, believes that decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana will save the city up to two hundred thousand dollars in policing costs. This saved money could instead empower the government of Reading to make real changes to combat the hard-drug problem gripping not only the city but also the state.

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