By Joseph Misulonas
The city of Reading, Pennsylvania passed a motion on Monday to urge state lawmakers to lower penalties on marijuana possession as a summary offense (the least punishable crime) rather than a misdemeanor. But one person was not happy with the result of this vote: the Reading mayor.
Reading Mayor Wally Scott walked out of the city council vote on lowering marijuana punishments to show his displeasure for the action. Scott spoke out against lowering punishments for marijuana, saying the drug is ruining families and allowing this to happen would hurt people even more.
“[Marijuana] is destroying America, and this is something you shouldn’t even be encouraging,” he said. “This is something that somebody thinks is a popular vote. I think you’re all going to get smacked in the end.”
Members of the city council argued that imprisoning people for small amounts of marijuana possession ruins lives over a relatively minor 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,” said Councilman John Slifko.
It does not appear that Scott had any response to Slifko’s comments.
If you ever wonder why reasonable marijuana reform cannot get passed, this is why. A man elected to run a city was so upset by the idea of lowering penalties on people for possessing small amounts of cannabis that he left in protest. How ridiculous.