Decriminalization of Marijuana in Clearfield County Pennsylvania
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The decriminalization of Marijuana in Pennsylvania is on the horizon as 3 of Pennsylvania's largest cities, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg have already made the step of creating a better commonwealth by decriminalizing the beneficial plant.
Under state law, marijuana possession of 30 grams or less is a criminal misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both. This petition is asking for the decriminalization of the possession of under 30 grams of marijuana, reducing the penalty to a maximum fine of $100 and no jail time for first-time offenders.
As a resident of Clearfield County I have witnessed and heard far too many unnecessary stories of people undergoing financial torment and life altering consequences because they were caught with no more than a handful of this plant in their possession, and a lot of these cases are unfortunately starring a young adult as the victim. It is equally tragic when an elderly member of our society who has worked and contributed to this area their entire life is forced to drop everything and go sit in jail over simply possessing marijuana. I was 16 when I was criminally charged with possession of marijuana with less than 2 grams of the substance on me, excessive fines along with mandatory drug and alcohol evaluation and a 6 month probation period were some of my penalties. Talking to other people near my age group while I was going through this process made me realize that these penalties were mellow in comparison to some of theirs. How anybody could think that subjecting someone to this is fair treatment or helpful to the individual or society in anyway is truly disturbing. We are wasting our tax money and our resources to arrest and imprison our own people for possessing something that our Nation's captiol along with 29 other states have chosen to legalize in some form.
Decriminalizing Marijuana in Clearfield County will be another big step towards the push for state wide decriminalization. Please make a more sensible, safe, and progressive society for our State's youth to grow up and learn in.
I have specifically asked for the town of DuBois to help get things rolling by supporting this cause as it is the city I grew up in. On our Cities government website the mayor states that the most important goal is to “help improve our great City and neighboring municipalities for future generations so they will be proud to call DuBois their home.” The huge issue with that is that A LOT of the "future generation" in this town are being tormented over marijuana possession, and subsequently, are not proud to call DuBois their home whatsoever. I'm sure it's a safe bet to say many other cities in this county are seeing the same thing.
Decriminalizing Marijuana will spare tax payers the average $2,200 cost per marijuana arrest/court case. Decriminalization of Marijuana would also allow our police force to dedicate their time to fixing issues with the drugs in our state that our actually killing people and ruining lives. In 2010 27,065 marijuana arrests were made in Pennsylvania, now our state is experiencing one of the worst heroin/opiate epidemics in the United States of America and we are still focusing on targeting marijuana crimes. As far as the youth is concerned, going through an arrest and then being treated like a drug abusing criminal for the next however many months is far more damaging and psychologically scarring than any amount of marijuana ever could be. It is finally time to stop the nonsense. Please help our leaders make this choice so that we can begin to focus on fixing bigger issues and creating a Pennsylvania for the future to be proud of. Thank you for your time.
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