Harrisburg police to start issuing citations for marijuana possession on Thursday

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo, a marijuana joint is rolled in San Francisco. On Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics is highlighting warnings about marijuana's potential harms for teens amid increasingly lax laws and attitudes on pot use. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse announced Wednesday afternoon that starting Thursday city police will begin issuing citations for summary offenses for possession of marijuana.

According to Papenfuse, training for police officers has started and it will take at least a week before all officers are trained.

Under an ordinance passed by Harrisburg City Council last July, anyone caught by police in possession of a small amount of pot will receive a $75 fine. Anyone caught smoking pot will receive a $150 fine.

A misdemeanor charge will be filed for anyone who commits a third offense in five years.

Police still have an option to charge someone with misdemeanor possession for a first offense.

Papenfuse took to Twitter Wednesday to thank the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts for helping to expedite the process.

He also said in a release that the ordinance allows police to focus on “more serious issues, such as the epidemic of gun violence.”

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