City of Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lancaster as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-25-2018 by Ord. No. 13-2018]
The purpose and intent of this article is to promote the general safety and welfare of the public by establishing a mechanism to process the minor nonviolent offenses of personal possession or personal use of a small amount of marijuana and personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia within the City of Lancaster and not to promote or condone the possession or use of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MARIJUANA
All forms or varieties of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, as defined by Pennsylvania's Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq.
MARIJUANA PARAPHERNALIA
Any device, instrument, apparatus or object used, intended to be used, or designed to be used for introducing marijuana into the human body or for storing, containing, concealing or transporting marijuana.
PERSONAL POSSESSION
Actual physical custody of or the ability to exercise control over or have access to, for the sole purpose of one's own personal use. The term "personal possession" does not include possession with intent to deliver, distribute, transfer or sell.
PERSONAL USE
Introducing marijuana into one's own body, which includes smoking, inhaling, exhaling, vaporizing, or burning any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or other such device which contains marijuana or marijuana extracts.
SMALL AMOUNT
Thirty grams or less of marijuana or eight grams or less of hashish as set forth in Pennsylvania's Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(31).
A. 
So long as marijuana shall be listed as a controlled substance in the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, 1972, April 14, P.L. 233, No. 64, § 1 et seq., 35 P.S. § 780- 101 et seq., no person shall be in possession of a small amount of marijuana as defined in said Act.
B. 
The following shall be violations of this section of this article:
(1) 
Personal possession of a small amount of marijuana; or
(2) 
Personal use of a small amount of marijuana.
C. 
Any person who is found in violation of this section of this article shall be issued a nontraffic summary citation by the police or other authorized law enforcement officer or, alternatively, the officer can obtain the subject's name and address and later send the citation by first-class mail, all to be in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
D. 
Any police officer or other authorized law enforcement officer who observes a violation of this section of this article by a person under 18 years of age shall:
(1) 
Temporarily detain the minor and follow all existing procedures for the handling of summary offenses committed by a minor;
(2) 
Advise the parent or guardian that the minor was found in personal possession of a small amount of marijuana or to have been engaging in personal use of a small amount of marijuana;
(3) 
Issue a copy of the citation to the parent or guardian advising that he or she is responsible for the payment of the violation fine; and
(4) 
Provide the parents or guardian with contact information for a local agency where substance abuse educational and treatment programs are available.
A. 
So long as drug paraphernalia includes objects used in connection with marijuana possession or use in the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, 1972, April 14, P.L. 233, No. 64, § 1 et seq., 35 P.S. § 780-101 et seq., no person shall be in possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
B. 
It shall be a violation of this section of this article to be in personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
C. 
Any person who is found in violation of this section of this article shall be issued a nontraffic summary citation by the police officer or other authorized law enforcement officer or, alternatively, the officer can obtain the subject's name and address and later send the citation by first-class mail, all to be in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
D. 
Any law enforcement officer who observes a violation of this section by a person under 18 years of age shall:
(1) 
Temporarily detain the minor and follow all existing procedures for the handling of summary offenses committed by a minor;
(2) 
Advise the parent or guardian that the minor was found in personal possession of a small amount of marijuana or to have been engaging in personal use of a small amount of marijuana;
(3) 
Issue a copy of the citation to the parent or guardian advising that he or she is responsible for the payment of the violation fine; and
(4) 
Provide the parents or guardian with contact information for a local agency where substance abuse educational and treatment programs are available.
A. 
The penalty for a first and second violation of § 132-3 of this article relating to possession of a small amount of marijuana shall be a fine of $25.
B. 
The penalty for a third violation of § 132-3 of this article relating to possession of a small amount of marijuana shall be a fine of $50.
C. 
The penalty for a first violation of § 132-3 of this article relating to personal use of marijuana shall be a fine of $75.
D. 
The penalty for a second violation of § 132-3 of this article relating to personal use of marijuana shall be a fine of $100.
E. 
The penalty for a third violation of § 132-3 of this article relating to personal use of marijuana shall be a fine of $125.
F. 
The penalty for a first and second violation of § 132-4 of this article relating to personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia shall be a fine of $25.
G. 
The penalty for a third violation of § 132-4 of this article relating to personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia shall be a fine of $50.
H. 
Subsequent offenses. A person is only eligible to be charged under this article for three offenses within a five-year period. All subsequent offenses shall be charged in accordance with federal and Pennsylvania law.
I. 
The court may, in its discretion, suspend the fine imposed under this section if the person found guilty agrees to and does, in fact, perform such community service as the court deems appropriate, of as much as four hours for a determination of guilt for possession of a small amount of marijuana or personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia and eight hours for personal use of a small amount of marijuana.
J. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
A nontraffic summary citation issued under this article shall be enforced in accordance with the procedures established by the City of Lancaster Bureau of Police for enforcement of summary violations.
(2) 
The Chief of Police or his or her designee shall report to the Council of the City of Lancaster regarding implementation of this article on an annual basis for the first three years following adoption of this article.
(3) 
This article shall not be construed to supersede any existing Pennsylvania or federal law. The City of Lancaster police and law enforcement officers retain the authority to enforce any applicable laws, and it is the City Council of the City of Lancaster's intent that such law enforcement officers may undertake custodial arrests where there is probable cause to believe that a criminal offense other than personal possession or personal use of a small amount of marijuana or personal possession of marijuana paraphernalia has been or is being committed.