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.”