Philadelphia’s City Council Law and Government Committee gave unanimous approval today to a proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis (one ounce), reducing the charge from an arrestable misdemeanor, to a simple ticket.
There are 4,200 arrests each year in Philadelphia for cannabis possession, something which takes up over 17,000 police hours, according to Councilmember James F. Kenney, the primary sponsor of the measure.
“To me, it makes no sense”, he says.
“The trend has been toward legalization,” Kenney says, indicating he sees this move as a step towards broader cannabis law reform. “We just got to be sensible about how we enforce the law and treat our people.”
Kenney’s bill is expected to be voted on by the full council later this month.