The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.


Marijuana is one step away from being decriminalized in Philadelphia.

On Thursday, Philadelphia City Council voted 14–2 in support of a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Under the new law, which will take effect after Mayor Michael Nutter signs it, a person stopped with less than 30 grams of marijuana will only have to pay a $25 fine, and the offense will not go on the person's criminal record. Public consumption of marijuana will result in a $100 fine and mandatory community service.

Prior to a compromise on Sept. 10 that included a more severe penalty for public use of marijuana, Nutter had opposed marijuana decriminalization in Philadelphia.

Both Nutter and City Councilman Jim Kenney , who introduced the bill, have cited racial disparities as a major reason to rethink Philadelphia’s drug policy. In 2013, Philadelphia police arrested 4,336 people for marijuana possession. Eighty-six percent of those arrested were black.

If signed by the mayor, the law would take effect on Oct. 20.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.