Pittsburgh council votes to decriminalize marijuana, hash

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh City Council has voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana or hashish, a bill Mayor Bill Peduto says he’ll sign.

The bill passed 7-2 on Monday. Councilwomen Darlene Harris and Theresa Kail-Smith voted against the measure, saying the city didn’t have authority to make the change and wondering if the measure could cause problems with neighboring municipalities.

Once approved, police could fine people $25 to $100 and seize the drugs as long as the person has less than 30 grams of marijuana or eight grams of hash.

Those who voted for the ordinance say charges for possessing small amounts of the drugs are often dismissed by local magistrates in favor of other charges anyway, and that a criminal conviction for possessing pot or hash unfairly keeps some people from getting jobs years later.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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