Hundreds of Marijuana Arrests One Month After Decriminalization in Philadelphia

7greeneyes

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http://thefreethoughtproject.com/hundreds-arrests-month-decriminalization-philadelphia/


Hundreds of Marijuana Arrests One Month After Decriminalization in Philadelphia


Hundreds of people in the city of Philadelphia have been arrested on marijuana possession charges just one month after the city council voted to decriminalize the substance. On June 19th the city voted for decriminalization, but since it went into effect, 264 people have been charged with possession of marijuana.

Of those 264 people, 140 of them were charged with no other crimes at all, and had no other reason to be arrested aside from the fact that they were holding marijuana, which was supposedly decriminalized at the time. As for the additional 126 people who were charged with additional crimes, the vast majority of them were nonviolent crimes related to other drug offenses.

Even though decriminalization became official last month, Mayor Michael Nutter has publicly opposed the bill and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey threatened to continue arresting people even if the decriminalization measure passed into law, apparently he has followed through on his promise.

Councilman Jim Kenny, one of the proponents of the decriminalization bill, told local reporters that “The issue for me is that we have a 26% poverty rate. I need to have everyone working, and for a lot of these people, its impossible to get jobs, all over a nickel bag of cannabis or a couple of joints.”

Between January and June of last year, there were 476 people charged with possession of marijuana in the city of Philadelphia, so there has been a decline, but police are still continuing to charge people for a crime that doesn’t exist.

This situation raises some concerns about the transition that is taking place with the changing of drug laws in some states. While the laws on the books in many places have changed, police departments are still heavily driven by drug arrests, and officers still seem to perceive marijuana users as criminals.
 

lyfespan

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Falsely arrested for marijuana and found on other charges stemming from the marijuana, everything gets tossed out of court.
 
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The mayor and the police commissioner do not have to like it--it is the law. The police commissioner's job is to enforce the law. Why in the world does this police commissioner think he has the right or the power to ignore the law and have people arrested just because he doesn't like the new law? We need NORML and/or the ACLU to be looking into this gross abuse of authority.

As a side note, this guy is not a sheriff (an elected position), he is a police commissioner, an appointed position.
 

kaotik

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and yet Rob Ford get's all the headlines for a bad mayor..
 

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