Philadelphia Bill Seeks to End Arrests in Cases of Minor Marijuana Possession

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April 26, 2018
San Francisco, CA

A bill that would allow Philadelphia’s police department to cease arrests in minor marijuana possession cases has passed the City Council with a veto-proof majority, Reading Eagle reports. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has until September to make the decision to either veto or sign the bill. His spokesman has not made it clear if he is inclined to sign the bill. The Nutter administration said that it appreciates the intent of the bill to save the city’s criminal justice system time and money. Supporters of the bill believe that it could save the city up to $4 million a year and spare offenders criminal records for what they believe are minor infractions.

The bill itself would no longer require police officers to arrest offenders who possess less than 30 grams of marijuana and would allow them to issue a $25 fine instead. Officers would still be allowed to arrest someone if they could not properly identify themselves or had outstanding warrants. The bill also does not change the law for selling marijuana, driving under the influence, or possession by minors.

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