Harrisburg City Council seeking public input on lowering penalties for marijuana

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HARRISBURG, Pa.-- City Council members are holding a press conference this morning to to seek public input on Bill 4-2016, which would reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The press conference, which will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the MLK Government center, gives residents notice of a chance to have their voice heard in the marijuana debate.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse has proposed following cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to reduce the penalties associated with possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana for personal use. Currently, possession of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison or a fine of $500.

“We want to make sure we fully engage our citizens in making a decision on this important proposal,” said City Council member Cornelius Johnson. “We are holding meetings in different parts of the city to make it easier for people to participate.”

The first meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Room 206 of HACC Midtown campus, 1500 Third St. That will be followed by a second meeting which will be held on at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, 2016, at the Public Works Facility, 1820 Paxton St.

For more information, contact Joyce M. Davis at jdavis@cityofhbg.com; or call 717 255 3015.

FOX43's Kara Duffy provided coverage of the story this morning.