The City Council of Pittsburgh made the final vote today to decriminalize the possession of under 30 grams of marijuana, making it a summary offense punishable by a fine of $25 instead of a misdemeanor carrying 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. If users are caught smoking in public they can be fined $100. Pittsburgh's Mayor, Bill Peduto, will have 10 days to sign the ordinance into law.
Summaries can be expunged in five years if the defendant is convicted and do not require the defendant to be fingerprinted or to appear at a preliminary hearing.
“This is a small step — but an important step — in helping young men who may have a small amount of marijuana on them, not be entered into the criminal justice system,” Councilman Ricky Burgess said before the vote this morning.