Marijuana Ordinance Public Hearing to be Held Oct. 14

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Released: October 19, 2020

Second Reading and Final Adoption of the Ordinance to be held October 21

Delaware County held a public hearing regarding the pending County Ordinance to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana on October 14 in the County Council Public Meeting Room in Media.

The public hearing was held to introduce and adopt Ordinance, entitled “An Ordinance of the County of Delaware, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania providing for a civil penalty for the purchase, possession or smoking of small amounts of marijuana in Delaware County.”

The provisions of the proposed Ordinance are summarized as follows:

1. Provides that any of the following constitutes a civil violation of the Ordinance: purchasing or attempting to purchase, possessing, and smoking a small amount of marijuana in any public space (with an exception for violations on school grounds)

2. Provides that the penalty for violating the Ordinance is a civil fine of $50.00 for each violation

3. Sets forth certain provisions regarding violations by minors

4. Does not apply in any local municipality which has a similar ordinance

5. Not to be construed to supersede any existing Pennsylvania or Federal law

The ordinance can be viewed online: https://www.delcopa.gov/clerk/pdf/Ordinance2020-8.pdf

Expert testimony was given by a panel with a diverse range of expertise including members of law enforcement, the legal community, and experts in public health. Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman served as a special guest speaker and joined the hearing virtually. Delaware County Council Chairman Brian Zidek served as moderator. Each speaker gave testimony followed by a five-minute Q&A period with Council members.

Hearing Agenda:

Brian Zidek, Delaware County Council Chairman
John Fetterman, Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
Jack Stollsteimer, Delaware County District Attorney
Timothy M. Bernhardt, Superintendent, Upper Darby Police Department
Joseph A. Fitzgerald, President, Fraternal Order of Police, Delaware County Lodge 27
Chris Welsh, Director, Delaware County Public Defender’s Office
Teressa Ravenell, Professor of Law, Villanova University
Dr. Christine Roussel, Pharmacy Director, Doylestown Hospital and Member of Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy

Written Testimony from some of the presenters can be found on the County’s website.

Jack Stollsteimer, Delaware County District Attorney: https://delcopa.gov/pdf/MarijuanaTestimonyDA.pdf

Timothy M. Bernhardt, Superintendent, Upper Darby Police Department: https://delcopa.gov/pdf/CountyCouncilMarijuanaPresentationUpperDarbyPD.pdf

Joseph A. Fitzgerald, President, Fraternal Order of Police, Delaware County Lodge 27: https://delcopa.gov/pdf/MarijuanaTestimonyJAF.pdf

Chris Welsh, Director, Delaware County Public Defender’s Office: https://delcopa.gov/pdf/PublicDefenderMarijuanaOrdinanceTestimony.pdf

The Second Reading and Final Adoption of the Ordinance is currently scheduled for County Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at 6:00 p.m.



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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.


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