Medical Marijuana

One More Way Philadelphia is Beating Washington

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Woo Philly!

Not only did the Phillies trounce the Washington Nationals in yesterday's baseball season opener, the City of Brotherly Love is pushing to decriminalize marijuana possession:

The city's new district attorney and the state Supreme Court are moving to all but decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use in an effort to unclog Philadelphia's crowded court dockets.

Under a policy to take effect later this month, prosecutors will charge such cases as summary offenses rather than as misdemeanors. People arrested with up to 30 grams of the drug—slightly more than an ounce—may have to pay a fine but face no risk of a criminal record.

"We have to be smart on crime," said District Attorney Seth Williams, who took office in January. "We can't declare a war on drugs by going after the kid who's smoking a joint on 55th Street. We have to go after the large traffickers."

D.C., meanwhile, seems content to move slowly on a plan to allow limited distribution of medical marijuana.

More from Reason on decriminalization here. (Hat tip: Tim Lee.)

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  1. Take a toke out of crime.

  2. Philly also has much more ambitious flash mobs.

  3. According to this article you can still get arrested , booked, and fingerprinted.
    Whats the big deal for optimism here?

    1. Yeah, and if you have any kind of a criminal record, it will be shot up to criminal court, anyway.

  4. D.C. isn’t across the river from Jersey. D.C. wins.

    1. Eff yo’self.

  5. We also unloaded our overweight, asthmatic quarterback on D.C. Enjoy it fuckers.

    1. And you won last year’s World Series!
      Wait, no you didn’t. But you have cheese steaks!

    2. Did you mean future Hall of Fame quarterback who had the misfortune of playing for the worst coach in the league?

  6. We’re not going stop locking people up,” Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, said Friday. He said marijuana possession remained illegal.

    “We’re going to stop people for it. . . . Our officers are trained to do that,” Vanore said. “Whether or not they make it through the charging process, that’s up to the D.A. We can’t control that. Until they legalize it, we’re not going to stop.”

    You gotta hand it to these fucking pigs. They are gonna do whatever the fuck they want, everyone else be damned. Everyone is telling these useless cocksuckers, “hey, go chase rapists, murderers, and armed robbers.” To which, the fucking useless pigs are reply, “fuck you, we will do what we want. Now respect my authorataa before I shove this nightstick up your ass.”

    1. So long as they can still break in to immigrant’s stores, smash the cameras, and steal all the money and goods they want, Philly cops will be happy.

      1. Anyone who was shocked by the bodega story either isn’t from the area or has their head up their ass. Philly cops are just fucking horrible to deal with, don’t like the idea of free speech, will harass you if you’re gay (or perceived to be), and are just generally worthless fucktards.

        1. I’ve had a few run-ins with Philly police. One morning, me and a friend pulled into a 7-11 with a hooker. A Philly cop walked over and said “I know who she is, and I know what you’re doing here. Get out of my district, or I’ll take you in, beat the shit out of you, and book you.”

          Years ago, when Frank Rizzo was in charge, they at least gave you a choice.

    2. hey, go chase rapists, murderers, and armed robbers

      Since most of those crimes are drug related, going after those that take the pot stops them too.

      1. Haven’t seen you in a while. Welcome back…or…err…hello…if you never left.

      2. Obviously pot leads to rape. Haven’t you ever seen Reefer Madness?

      3. Barely above average sock-puppetry.

        I give it a 52. It’s got a good beat, but it’s tough to dance to.

        1. I say it deserves a little more. “Anyone who takes the pot” is a great line.

          1. “Take the pot” I have to start using that.

            1. Excuse me, I have to go use the pot now.

      4. Juanita is a shrill. Nobody has that attitude…do they ??? Or Juanita is a masochist and likes to be spat on during sex dirty dirty dirty girl.

  7. C-man beat me to it, though I would add old and overrated.

    1. racist

      1. I was wondering if I was.

  8. Seems to me that legalizing makes much more sense then decrimalizing. You still have all of the inherent violence of the drug trade. From the states viewpoint (not mine) they also miss out on the potential tax revenue. If you’re going to except that it’s ok for people to use mary jane, what’s your rational for keeping the selling of it in the black market.

    1. I agree! But I’m happy to see even the most basic, grudging recognition that current drug policy is counter-productive.

      1. From the article:

        Police have been briefed on the policy shift, but appear less than enthusiastic about it.

        “We’re not going stop locking people up,” Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, said Friday. He said marijuana possession remained illegal.

        “We’re going to stop people for it. . . . Our officers are trained to do that,” Vanore said. “Whether or not they make it through the charging process, that’s up to the D.A. We can’t control that. Until they legalize it, we’re not going to stop.”

        This would just be a return to a ’70s style policy where big-city cops, upon finding someone smoking a cannabis cigarette in the street, would just tell me people to throw it away.

        (This was NYCs mj policy until Giuliani Time in the 80s.)

        1. 90s, not 80s!

        2. So, is he saying that officers’ training is permanent?

    2. Agreed! Personally, I really do think allowing people to grow it would do wonders for the country. It’s more resilient than tobacco, too.

  9. Philly has better restaurants, more affordable housing, nicer suburbs, cooler ethnic neighborhoods, better art museums, and no ambitious 20 somethings trying desperately to make careers in government. I’d say Philly wins all around.

    1. no ambitious 20 somethings trying desperately to make careers in government

      You clearly haven’t interacted with many college students in the city.

      Philly is a shithole and is going to look like Port-au-Prince in about 5 years. I realize you probably just bought a beautiful home in Point Breeze, I mean “Newbold,” but look past that investment and see how quickly the city is going down the crapper.

      I’m so fucking happy I moved out of that hellhole at the end of last year.

  10. But I’m happy to see even the most basic, grudging recognition that current drug policy is counter-productive.

    Because selective exemption from a law is never granted as a strategy to sustain the law in the face of growing opposition by those exempted.

  11. While I agree that some progress is being made here, this,

    “We can’t declare a war on drugs by going after the kid who’s smoking a joint on 55th Street. We have to go after the large traffickers.”

    …indicates that someone is still missing the point.

    It’s nice to know that “the kid who’s smoking a joint on 55th Street” no longer has to fear harrassment and arrest, but it would be even nicer to know that the same kid can go buy the product he wants to use in peace from reputable accountable dealers instead of from criminals (who may ironically be the same people depending on the legal regime).

    I’m not sure how that can be squared with “We have to go after the large traffickers”.

  12. This sends the wrong message to Americas children that drug abuse and addiction is OK.

    1. I just heard (read) that argument being used about allowing sports betting at AC casinos. Coincidence?

      Pro football games were never designed to be bet on, McDonough said, adding that legalizing such gambling would be a bad message “to send to the young people of this country.”

      http://www.thedailyjournal.com…..New-Jersey

      And in related news, cousins of jailed Philly Mob Boss Joey Merlino were denied a license to do business with the casinos.

      http://www.courierpostonline.c…..ino-ruling

    2. Pretty sure it’s a parent’s job to teach children otherwise, not a government’s.

  13. Philly has good heroin, but their crack isn’t half as good as across the river in Camden. I don’t know about DC. Never bought drugs there.

  14. Sounds to me like Philly is the pace to be dude, I like it.

    Lou
    http://www.anonymous-surfing.us.tc

  15. So, which of the late-’80s NBC sitcoms with former “Jeffersons” stars was better: D.C.-set “227”, or Philly-set “Amen”?

  16. Okay, in law school I knew kids who interned with the Philly DA, and the max anyone got for PWID (possession with intent to deliver) was probation.

    Cops reported that defendants would be asked if they were carrying drugs and the defendants would reply–in all earnestness– “Do you mean pot or real drugs?” because they knew the sentences for pot were not serious.

    In the suburbs, you might get jacked up for some weed, but not in the Philly city limits.

  17. its a step in the right direction. its unfortunate that our libertarian state representative Sam Rohrer’s medical marijuana bill isn’t getting more attention.

  18. “”Not only did the Phillies trounce the Washington Nationals in yesterday’s baseball season opener,””

    We could start a Hit and Run baseball team and beat the Nationals.

    It is just me or does the Nationals sound like the fake team that’s meant to lose in an exibition?

  19. Please read this column from fascist conservatwat Christine Flowers:http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/20100409_Christine_M__Flowers__Keep_off_the_grass.html.

    I guess this dreck, riddled with logical fallicies, is what passes for a reasoned argument among mainstream conservatives.

  20. Doesn’t matter what the police and the politcians say…they cannot and will not stop drug use. I wonder if in 2055 drug users will still automatically be sent to prison.

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