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Marijuana Decriminalization On Hold As City Works Out Issues

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Legislation passed by the Pittsburgh City Council decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana or hashish is on hold as lawyers work out legal issues within the ordinance.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports attorneys are seeking a way to impose a civil penalty under the legislation, even though state law calls for a misdemeanor charge.

Under the ordinance that was signed in December, police could fine people $25 to $100 and seize the drugs as long as the person has less than 30 grams of marijuana or eight grams of hash.

But Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Jeffrey Manning says the city can't file the citation with the court because it's bound by state law.

The police union says officers have been instructed to continue filing misdemeanor charges.

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