Released: October 7, 2020
Delaware County will hold a public hearing regarding the pending County Ordinance to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The public hearing 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” will be held on October 14 at 6:00p.m. in the County Council Public Meeting Room (201 W. Front St., Media, PA)
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
Residents who do not have access to a computer can request a copy of the proposed Ordinance by contacting the Office of the County Clerk at (610) 891-4260.
Expert testimony will be 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 will serve as a special guest speaker and join the hearing virtually. Delaware County Council Chairman Brian Zidek will serve as moderator. Each speaker will give testimony followed by a five-minute Q&A period with Council members.
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
Residents are invited to attend the hearing and submit public comment in person. In order to adhere to social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance in the Council Meeting Room is limited. Those providing public comment will be required to rotate through the room. Residents will wait in the Government Center Lobby and in the Jury Assembly Room (located on the First Floor of the Government Center) during the hearing and can view the livestream of the hearing from those areas. Residents will be brought into the Council Room during the public comment portion of the meeting.
Residents can also email public comments. Given the number of anticipated responses, the comments will not be read during the hearing. Comments will be reviewed by Council following the hearing. Comments can be emailed to PublicHearing@co.delaware.pa.us
The agenda for October 14 hearing can be found here: https://delcopa.gov/pdf/PublicHearing_October142020.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 6:00p.m.