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Philadelphia City Council Overwhelmingly Approves Decriminalization of Marijuana Possession

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director June 19, 2014

    Today, the full Philadelphia City Council voted 13 to 3 in support of a measure that would lower the penalty for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil infraction, punishable by a $25 fine.

    All 13 of the Democratic members of the City Council voted for it and all three Republicans voted against. The measure now goes to Philadelphia Mayor Nutter’s desk for signature. NORML’s local chapter, Philly NORML, has been working hard on advancing these reforms for many years and those efforts seem to be finally paying off.

    Councilman Bill Greenlee, who voted in support of decriminalization, stated, “It does not seem fair for what most people consider a minor incident to potentially risk people’s future.”

    Councilwoman Cindy Bass, who also voted “Yes” on the bill, said, “To spend the time and the amount of money that is really required to prosecute someone with small amounts of marijuana, while we have so many other bigger issues in the city, does seem a little bit not where we need to be headed.”

    Bill sponsor Councilman Jim Kenney estimates that the new pot policy could save the police department and the courts about $4 million a year.

    NORML will keep you updated if and when the mayor signs this measure.

    9 Responses to “Philadelphia City Council Overwhelmingly Approves Decriminalization of Marijuana Possession”

    1. Douglas meyer says:

      I live in fl and I believe that I am being denied pain medication because I smoke pot, could someone direct me to someone that can help me. I have been taking these meds responsibly for many years and now All of a sudden I M being denied.

    2. Harry says:

      I used to be a proud republican and conservative…Now I am a no party independent. All this wasted money over a harmless plant when drunk drivers and prescription medication abuse is the top problems.

    3. Eyes Wide Shut says:

      I love it, way to go Philly!

    4. Robert B Curtis says:

      The DEA is what’s behind you loosing your medication for testing positive for weed….Good luck

    5. Shayla says:

      You have to do your own research and dig deep into your states requirements regarding what doctors may legally do. This has been a problem in Oregon for about 4 years now and less than a year ago someone found the statute that proves such behavior is illegal according to Oregon state law. They founded an organization called oregon patients rights association and it’s just now getting started. Their main purpose is to defend mmj patients in Oregon who are being forced into these same inhumane ultimatums. Good luck.

    6. Galileo Galilei says:

      @Harry

      “I used to be a proud republican and conservative…” I’ve noticed that a lot of conservative readers of this forum have experienced this. Prohibition is beginning to cost the conservatives support and votes. I wonder if the specter of another electoral drubbing and 8 years of President Hilliary will be enough to wake them up.

    7. Eyes Wide Shut says:

      Galileo Galilei

      I second the second part of that comment, also we recognize some liberal democrats who are vociferously anti-legalization. I would strongly suggest they look closely at any and all polls available to them too.

    8. TheOracle says:

      Saw Anthony H. Williams and the Great Marijuana Debate on PCN, Pennsylvania Cable Network. Saw footage of Kenney in which he said he wants Mayor Nutter to give an executive order for Philly cops to stop arresting people immediately so that police resources are not wasted in the interim time between the vote and when the Mayor actually signs off on it. The vote is veto proof.

      Philly tv stations reported on the Council’s vote, and one of them reported that the Philly Police are still going by Pennsylvania state law and will continue to arrest people and do what they always have been doing. Amounts to the Commonwealth decriminalizing so that the Philly cops MUST.

      Bordering on New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, and now New York you’d think Pennsylvania would have to give soon, too. However, it shouldn’t be a doomed to fail medical marijuana and retail market thing like what Governor Chris Christie and Governor Cuomo have allowed. Cuomo has his law on a sunset, and so many people who should qualify for MMJ won’t because the douchebag has so many restrictions on the ailments and forms of cannabis, same thing for that lying sack of shit belt pullin’ dancer Chris Christie. Christie sounded off in his typical loudmouth Jersey style about the medical dispensary executive of the Egg Harbor dispensary quit because he had worked for free for 3 months. So lots of people who would benefit under MMJ laws of other states who happen to live in NJ are all screwed, and then he’s all schadenfreude and shit, bitching about how MMJ is a sham and recreational is what it’s really all about for dispensaries in order for them to make money and why does a MMJ dispensary have to worry about making money? Ah, duh! Derp! It’s a small business and needs a profit to pay expenses to keep running, has to build up cash reserves to break even and maintain or expand. So he’s bitching about how in Colorado illegal weed is cheaper than legal cannabis and shit. You know what, Christie. If you set up MMJ to fail in your state and it’s not set up right in the first place, you’re gonna have legal MMJ dispensaries that go out of business because there is a small number of people who can be served above ground for the ailments your state’s law is restricted to. Everybody else is still going to get theirs off the street, i.e. cartels’ supply networks.

      So if you’re so for small businesses succeeding and making jobs, then why not small businesses in the cannabis sector?

      Then, Christie says that if president he would not treat states that legalized retail like Colorado and Washington well . . . Derp! Probably not well, no well.

      I want Pennsylvania to go Colorado once Tom Wolf is in office. Folmer and Leach and their allies, whoever is left or put in office, need to do this right and not half-assed like in NY and NJ. MD has a gubernatorial candidate who is pro retail legalization so that would nudge things along quite well on the east coast.

      Cuomo’s and Christie’s actions are like okay I’ll let this kind of MMJ although I don’t want to, but the public wants it so here are these restrictions because I want you to fail so I can say I told you so.

    9. I’m encouraged by Phil lb ‘ s action, but Corbet is too busy
      stealing money n attached to pharmacy industry n so I must wait for him to be voted out of office, hopefully, the next election. I’m 71, in constant pain n hate Percocet for what it does to me. I used weed @ 28 yrs of age for the first time. I was able to assist n care for my Aunt while she was dying with grass brownies which helped with her pain n gave her an appetite. I then had the care of my father who had Parkinson ‘ s n again aided him with the weed brownies. The next morning he told me he had not slept like that since he was 19 and that he knew what I did n to please keep doing so. His tremors lessened n due to better sleeping he had less mental confusion. I have no regrets.
      I only wish I could get myself
      some, but I can’t walk, don’t drive and am housebound.
      My Dr. told me to get it. If only. Thank you for your work.

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