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Philly Mayor to Decriminalize Cannabis

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#1 SkunkyAroma


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Posted 09 September 2014 - 07:04 PM

Philly Mayor to Decriminalize Cannabis

Sept. 9, 2014


If Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has his way, there will be no more huge fines, jail time and criminal records for marijuana possession in his city, the 5th largest in the nation. According to the Huffington Post on Sept. 8, Nutter intends to sign a bill in the next couple of weeks that will decriminalize marijuana in the City of Brotherly Love.

Right now, if you’re caught with marijuana in Philly, it’s a minimum $200 fine, drug abuse classes and you have a criminal record that will follow you. The new bill will carry a $25 fine. That’s it. There will be a $100 fine for smoking in public, but just a carry will be $25. You can also do community service in lieu of the $100 smoking fine.

The changes were made to a bill originally sponsored by City Councilman Jim Kenney in May. Kenney and the mayor worked out a compromise bill which is the one the mayor will sign in a few weeks.

Kenny told KYW Newsradio that he got tired of seeing too many of his residents hit with large fines for a minuscule amount of pot.

"We've gotten to a place where it is out of the criminal realm. There’s no more handcuffs, no more bookings, no more criminal record ... We have so many people that we are putting in the prison pipeline, and the poverty pipeline, because a criminal record is a debilitating thing.”

Nutter told CBS News that the bill won’t be the same as condoning the use of marijuana. "So I think the agreement ends up putting the city and our citizens in a much better place.”

Once the bill is signed, if you do get caught in Philly with marijuana, you will get a summons to appear in Municipal Court, but you will pay just the $25. No criminal record will be created.

Another boon for Philadelphia is that it’s thought that this bill could save the Philadelphia Police Department approximately $4 million per year.

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