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A Pennsylvania mayor is fighting against the rising popularity of marijuana in his state.  Speaking at a city council meeting last week, Mayor Wally Scott stated, “[Marijuana] is destroying America, and this is something you shouldn’t even be encouraging” in response to a vote that could change marijuana penalties in Reading and the rest of Pennsylvania.

Reading City Council members are urging Pennsylvania lawmakers to allow police departments the discretion to charge marijuana possession as a summary offense rather than a misdemeanor.  Mayor Scott finds two issues with this vote – first, the fact that this is a “popular issue” and that city council members are being swayed by the rising popularity of marijuana, and second, that supporting this issue gives the impression that council members are supporting the use of marijuana in their community.

Other city council members have also spoken out against the resolution because of the misinformation contained therein, particularly relating the the reduction of prosecution costs that marijuana advocates claim will come with lessened penalties.  However, the resolution passed the council 4-2, and will be presented to state officials in order to urge them to take action.

It’s clear that opinions on both sides of the issue are heated.  However, as with medical marijuana, has the issue been done to support this claim?  Would the reduction of penalties for marijuana possession make the U.S. better, or would it simply encourage more users of this drug?

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