Philly mayor to sign bill decriminalizing pot

SHARE Philly mayor to sign bill decriminalizing pot

PHILADELPHIA — City officials have given the green light to a bill that would allow the Philadelphia Police Department to stop arresting people from possessing small amounts of marijuana.

The original bill passed City Council in June with a veto-proof majority. Mayor MichaelNutter’s spokesman said Monday that he would sign it.

The bill’s sponsor, Councilman Jim Kenney, says the bill calls for a $25 fine for people caught with less than an ounce of marijuana. He says the offense wouldn’t go on the person’s record, and he compared it to a parking ticket.

RELATED: Cash crop: The money battle over legalizing marijuana Chicago cops likely to arrest — not ticket — for pot possession

Kenney said the change would keep people from establishing arrest records and would give police more time to focus on other crimes in the city.

The law would go into effect Oct. 20 after amendments are added to the bill, said Mark McDonald, the mayor’s spokesman. McDonald wouldn’t divulge details of the amendments, but Kenney said part of the compromise with the mayor is the addition of a $100 fine or community service for public consumption of marijuana.

The bill is expected to be amended Thursday, voted on next week and sent to the mayor’s desk for his signature.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Latest
The area recently made history by gaining its first Asian American City Council member, and this same area should make history by being allowed to have its own high school.
Cecilia Thomas was inside a car when another car approached and someone inside the second car opened fire, striking her in the head, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
Grandparent is holding back emotions out of fear of never seeing the boys again.
The man, 32, was leaving his car in the 1300 block of West Roosevelt Road about 4:30 a.m. when he was shot twice in the chest.
The fire began in the basement of a house in the 4000 block of West Potomac Avenue about 12:20 a.m., officials said.