Good news Philly, Marijuana is about to be decriminalized. The City Council is about to pass a bill decriminalizing Marijuana this following week. A review of drug arrested suggest that the police department may be targeting African-American men and women with the current pot laws.
The bill will not legalize marijuana, it will rather make small possession of pot a civil penalty. This penalty will not result in arrest, jail time or a criminal record. The new law will for possession of less than 30gms, which is about equal to an ounce of marijuana will be dropped to a $25 fine. If you are caught smoking pot in a public area you will be hit with a $100 fine.
About 25 percent of the city's residents live below the poverty level. City Councilman James Kenney believes that with such a high poverty rate, young black men and women will not have a chance to exceed with a criminal record for such a minor offence. Stop and frisk which is already under heat for targeting minority are resulting in the criminalization of otherwise peaceful citizens. Also handicapping their future by dramatically cutting down opportunities.
Some groups are concerned that the city police departments may not be willing to cooperate with the new change. Concerns are specifically due to comments make by the police chief, stating repeatedly that he does not support any form of legalization or decriminalization of marijuana.
Police Chief Ramsay is quoted saying "We still have to treat this as a misdemeanor".
Good luck Chief, State laws supersede any town or city ordinance!