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Philadelphia Depenalizes Marijuana Possession

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 3, 2014

    Philadelphia mayor signs depenalization legislation into lawAs anticipated, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed municipal legislation this week removing criminal penalties for the possession of minor quantities of cannabis by adults. (Watch a video of the Mayor’s ordinance signing and accompanying press conference here.)

    The new measure amends citywide penalties pertaining to the possession of up to approximately one ounce of cannabis (30 grams) from a criminal misdemeanor to a non-summary civil offense, punishable by a $25 fine – no arrest and no criminal record. Public use of cannabis will be punishable by up to a $100 fine and/or the completion of community service.

    Philadelphia NORML had long lobbied in support of a change in the city’s criminal classification of marijuana possession offenses. A 2013 review of marijuana arrest data by the organization reported that African Americans are arrested in Philadelphia for minor marijuana violations at five times the rate of whites despite both races consuming the substance at nearly equal rates.

    Council member James Kenney, who sponsored the decriminalization ordinance, acknowledged that it was Philadelphia NORML’s outreach on this issue that ultimately persuaded him to push for the change in law.

    The reduced penalties go into effect on October 20, 2014.

    24 responses to “Philadelphia Depenalizes Marijuana Possession”

    1. Stel says:

      A step in the right direction.

      Unfortunately possession of cannabis “paraphernalia” such as a bong or pipe, even if you do not have cannabis, is still a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year incarceration and a $2,500 fine for a first offense.

    2. Anne Green says:

      I thought the Mayor’s News conference was “excellent”; As anticipated, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed municipal legislation this week removing criminal penalties for the possession of minor quantities of cannabis by adults. (Watch a video of the Mayor’s ordinance signing and accompanying press conference here.)top of pg.
      I applaud Mayor Michael Nutter’s “rationale”.

    3. Anne Green says:

      @ voice of the renaissance: I hear ya’ in Idaho…Congress must be aware of the discrepancies involving various states. Idaho is “last but not least”; hang in there folks!

    4. Gwild says:

      When is Pittsburgh’s turn?

    5. Voice of the Resistance says:

      Thanks for the support Anne Green. Hell on earth, it exists right here in southeast Idaho. The place I described is as real as I am. Just head south from Pocatello, then head east on highway 30 at the McCammon exit. The Enders restaurant, and hotel is also called the Geyser view next to two bars the Dog House bar, and the Stock-mans bar, and grill.

    6. Dash Thomas says:

      To be honest guys and gals, I think its only a matter of time now. Now states are passing they will all slowly follow suit. They will all want a piece of the tax revenue it brings in.

    7. Gwild says:

      About time

    8. Gwild says:

      Good 4 Vicki I’m trying to catch up to u I’m from pittsburgh smoking for 22years I’m still on the Deans list I’m a pharmacy tech been on the list for 8 years

    9. Anne Green says:

      @ voice of the resistance: Amazing how far out in the wilderness Idaho is…I was interested in Idaho for “ecological reasons.”
      I would say Idaho should go for “home grow”.
      This would be the best bet for the “people”. Idaho has got to “come out of its shell”. Anne

    10. Anne Green says:

      Good morning:

      The message I have is: Medicinal Marijuana is not just about “one Herb”; Medicinal Marijuana implies “natural healing in general.
      Natural Healing involves “Vitamins; Minerals; Protein Powders and Herbs. MJ is the Herb which has the most medicinal qualities. However; every Herb has some type of quality. Valerian Root is another great Herb.
      True MMJ may be at the top; others herb rank too. Summary: Marijuana IS a Medicinal Herb. @

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