Reading Mayor Wally Scott was so appalled by a discussion on lowering penalties for low-level marijuana possession, that he could not tolerate staying for the whole meeting.
Although a majority of Americans are in favor of less draconian sentences for low-level marijuana possession, one mayor in Pennsylvania is not a fan of the trend of reducing penalties.
Mayor Wally Scott walked out of Reading City Council meeting last night after it was announced that a proposal to reduce penalties associated with marijuana possession was approved. Reading reportedly said the plan represented a sad day for the city.
“Marijuana is destroying America, and this is something you shouldn’t even be encouraging,” the mayor said according to local news outlet WFMZ.
“This is something that somebody thinks is a popular vote. I think you’re all going to get smacked in the end,” he added.
The majority of the council took a different approach to the proposal.
“There is no reason that a young person’s life should be compromised for years to come simply because they had a small amount of marijuana,” Councilmember John Slifko said.
At the end of the meeting, Councilmember Donna Reed apologized for the mayor’s behavior.
“If you want to be the people’s representative, you’re here for the meeting. Many of us disagree with each other on issues, but to throw a temper tantrum – to take the managing director, to whom we need to ask questions and should be available to answer your questions,” she said. “I am ashamed. I have many times disagreed with the actions this council has taken and never once have I – or any other person in a councilor’s position – stormed out being accusatory to everyone else. It is a lack of respect to people making the decisions which they feel are proper, and it is a lack of respect for the office to which the person was elected.”
Reed suggested censuring the mayor which was echoed by Councilmember Goodman-Hinnershitz.