#PAGov: Allyson Schwartz Supports Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession and Personal Use

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Randy LoBasso reports on what appears to be a genuine position change from Allyson Schwartz. Good for the Congresswoman, this position makes sense, and voters are increasingly moving in this direction. Hopefully she’ll elaborate some more in the coming months:

During a lengthy discussion withPhiladelphia Weekly on Monday, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz revealed that not only is she in favor of medical marijuana at the state level, but she’d be open to decriminalizing simple possession of the plant, as well, if she were governor.

“I do believe that marijuana is over-criminalized. And what we should do is decriminalize possession,” she said.

Largely considered the frontrunner in the race for Pennsylvania’s Democratic nomination, Schwartz has basically ignored the marijuana issue, until now. She noted that she is “not where John Hanger is” — a reference to the former environmental secretary running for governor who seeks to recreationalize the plant, a la Colorado and Washington — but would support a new system in Pennsylvania in which those caught with small amounts of marijuana are not arrested and do not earn a criminal record from smoking it.

So, what’s the plan, exactly? What amount of pot could one possess in the state without being thrown in jail? That’s where the specifics end. Schwartz didn’t get into how she’d go about decriminalizing small amounts of the plant, or even what would be defined as a “small amount.” Rather, as governor, she said she’d “work with experts in the field about what amounts are acceptable and what are not … But what I’m very clear about is simple possession and personal use should not be criminalized.”

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5 Responses to #PAGov: Allyson Schwartz Supports Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession and Personal Use

  1. bramr101 says:

    I wonder what sort of expertise comes to bear on what is an “acceptable, small” amount of marijuana to gather in one pile and what is an “unacceptable, dangerous” amount.

    I guess it has to do with what indicates you’re selling it, but if “possession and personal use should not be criminalized”, then why sales? Seems double-standardish. Enjoy your dope, buyers, but if you’re servicing that market demand to pay your bills and make ends meet, away with you.

    Guess I have to applaud the incremental movement, but I can’t help feeling it’s all getting silly.

  2. Sean Kitchen says:

    I guess you can call it baby steps in the right direction? Right? I mean we’re talking about taking our marijuana policy from the 1920’s and bring it into the 2000’s. It’s a dated idea still incentives a justice system to fine people for something that is a victimless crime. I’m glad that PA politics is 20 years behind everyone else.

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