Philadelphia Becomes Largest City to Decriminalize Cannabis

In May, the Philadelphia City Council voted to decriminalize possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana. But the mayor and police department ignored the bill and let the arrests to continue. Finally, Mayor Michael Nutter bowed to the inevitable and signed the bill before the September 11 deadline in exchange for the Council’s agreement to an additional $100 fine for public consumption of marijuana. Sure enough, not even a month into the supposed new regime, 264 people have been arrested for marijuana possession of one ounce or less. In 140 of those cases, the arrested weren’t accused of breaking any other laws—marijuana possession was the only charge.

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