War on Drugs

Philadelphia Taking Steps towards Marijuana Legalization

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As we see a culture shift, where people recognize how harmless marijuana can be as a drug, as well as where people recognize the stupidity of drug prohibition, it looks like Philadelphia is dipping its toe into marijuana legalization. Philly Mayor Michael Nutter confirmed Monday  that he will sign a bill into law that  will decriminalize marijuana possession.

Essentially, instead of being arrested and being charged with criminal activity, if you are caught with marijuana on your person, you will be slapped with a $25 fine and be on your merry way. No arrests and, more importantly, no criminal record. City Councilman Jim Kenney said “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.”

It is estimated that the bill will save the local police $4 million per year and save 4,000 people from being arrested. It is still unclear why there is a fine still being attached to possession (perhaps since Pennsylvania still has marijuana laws), but any step toward progress should be celebrated as progress.

 

Image: vic15, Flickr

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