Erie City Council is moving forward with an ordinance that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

In an unanimous decision, council Wednesday morning approved the first reading of an ordinance that will decriminalize pot possession from a misdemeanor to a summary offense.

Under the new ordinance, first-time offenders who are caught with under 30 grams of marijuana would receive a $250 fine with no jail time. It would not go on a person's record.

Councilman Bob Merski said while the number of people who are charged with possession in the City of Erie is relatively low, the charges affect hem greatly, so he is calling for a change in the law that will prevent many from ruining their lives.

City Council is expected to pass the ordinance at its next meeting this month.

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