Reading City Council will formally introduce Monday an ordinance that would reduce the penalties for people caught carrying small amounts of marijuana. It would make possessing a small amount of pot a summary offense.
Reading Mayor Wally Scott is already threatening to veto the proposal in its current form.
Scott said it would get "too confusing" for governing bodies outside the city to regulate a law like this. He said he has also been in talks with the Reading police Chief Andres Dominguez and Berks County District Attorney John Adams.
If the proposal in "it's current" form is sent to his desk, Scott said he plans to veto it.
Reading City Councilwoman Donna Reed is one of two council members proposing the ordinance.
"Looking at youth and wanting to make sure if this is happening, if they have a small amount of marijuana, if they are smoking it, that their future lives aren't ruined because of an arrest," she said.
Reed said the ordinance would bring Reading into a more realistic way of handling these smaller offenses.
"When you look at cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre, Harrisburg and State College, especially State College with all the students, their city councils, their mayors have realized that there needs to be a change in how this issue is dealt with," Reed said.
Anyone carrying 30 grams or less of marijuana or up to eight grams of hashish will be given a citation instead of being arrested, according to the proposal.
But Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz said this sort of thing isn't the city's call.
"This should be handled at the state level," she said. "This is not something a municipality should be addressing, because it gets too confusing."
"Because this is a divisive issue, both locally and nationally, we think it's important to have a thoughtful discussion on this matter," said Jason Brudereck, director of communications, Berks County Community Foundation.
The foundation will host a forum about marijuana laws on October 10. The community is invited to participate.
"We really want people to understand what the issue is before it comes down to asking politicians to vote one way or another," said Brudereck.
The event is $12 to attend.