Reading mayor walks out of meeting over marijuana resolution – WFMZ Allentown
Andrew Valentino / 69 News Related story
READING, Pa. – Reading’s mayor called it a sad day for the city as he walked out of Monday night’s city council meeting.
Mayor Wally Scott left council chambers, taking Managing Director Glenn Steckman with him, after council members approved a resolution regarding penalties for marijuana possession.
The resolution urges Pennsylvania lawmakers to pass statewide legislation that would provide all police departments with the discretion to charge the possession of a small amount of marijuana as a summary offense, rather than a misdemeanor.
Before the vote, Scott gave an impassioned plea against the resolution. He said he’s seen what marijuana has done to families and that it is not a victimless crime.
“[Marijuana] is destroying America, and this is something you shouldn’t even be encouraging,” he said.
Scott accused council members of being out of their element.
“This is something that somebody thinks is a popular vote. I think you’re all going to get smacked in the end,” he said.
Scott said the legislation sounds as if council members are supporting the use of marijuana.
Before voting, council members explained why they were in favor of or against the resolution.
Councilman John Slifko said the resolution does not decriminalize or condone the use of marijuana but makes the penalty proportionate to the offense.
“There is no reason that a young person’s life should be compromised for years to come simply because they had a small amount of marijuana,” he said.
Councilman Christopher Daubert agreed that people should not go to jail for a small amount of marijuana and said he did not think that incarcerating those offenders was an effective use of taxpayers’ dollars.
Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz said as much as she understood “the nature and the rationale” behind the resolution, she could not