Phawker

You Report, We Decide

News, Media, Politics, Music, Culture, Gossip, In The 215 And The Great Beyond

PHILLY BLUNT: Illadelphia Will Become The Largest American City To Decriminalize Marijuana

Painting by ZENON MATIAS JIMENEZ

HUFFINGTON POST: Philly Mayor Michael Nutter confirmed Monday that he will sign a bill into law that will make his city the largest in America to decriminalize marijuana possession, Philly Mag reports. Essentially it softens the penalty for such an offense from possible jail time to a $25 fine.Nutter wasn’t a fan of the bill in the past, but he told KYW Newsradio that he agreed to sign the bill — with a caveat — because he’s seen too many of his citizens slapped with charges for small amounts of pot.“So I think the agreement ends up putting the city and our citizens in a much better place,” Nutter told CBS News, noting that signing the bill won’t be the same as condoning marijuana use. Though earlier reports have stated that Nutter would sign the bill this week, it’ll likely take another two. He arrived at a compromise with City Councilman Jim Kenney, who originally sponsored the bill in May. Nutter’s tweak will tack on a $100 fine for smoking in public, which can be waived with a few hours of public service. Kenney’s bill will be amended Thursday by the council and get a final vote two weeks later before it shows up on Nutter’s desk again. MORE

PHILLY.COM: Kenney argued that marijuana arrests were unfairly impacting African Americans – Philadelphia police arrested 4,336 people for marijuana possession last year, 83 percent of them black – while wasting valuable police time. MORE

CBSLOCAL: Kenney says this approach will spare more than 4,000 people from being arrested each year, and will save the Philadelphia Police Department about $4 million a year. “There will be no criminal record for an individual. And that’s a major step,” Kenney notes. “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.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: IN THE WEEDS: The Behind The Scenes Story Of How Philadelphia Got Its Decriminalization On

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]


Via BuzzFeed