Check out What Happened When one of the Biggest Cities in the U.S. Decriminalized Marijuana
by Jen Hayden –
Philadelphia decriminalized marijuana possession, doling out citations instead of arrests, and within one year of the new policy taking effect, they are seeing positive results:
According to police statistics, 3,686 people were arrested for pot possession between Oct. 1, 2013, and Oct. 19, 2014.From Oct. 20, 2014, to Sept. 5, 2015 – the most recent date for which statistics are available – just 1,012 people were cited for possessing or smoking a small amount of marijuana.
Of those cited over the past year, 170 received a $100 citation for smoking in public and 842 received a $25 citation for possessing under 30 grams of marijuana, according to statistics from the Police Department and the city’s Office of Administrative Review.
Philadelphia mayoral candidate Jim Kenney wants to take it a step further and fully legalize, noting the positive impact it is having on the community:
On top of the racial disparities and custodial arrests, Kenney said that otherwise law-abiding citizens were getting saddled with an arrest record that might prevent them from obtaining employment, entering the military or getting financial aid.”Now, one year later, there’s literally thousands of people without a criminal record,” Kenney said. “That’s many more people who aren’t in the criminal-justice system and have a better chance of getting a job.”
Activists are hoping to expand decriminalization efforts statewide. In related news, Gallup released a poll this week showing nationwide legalization support continues to rise:
A majority of Americans continue to say marijuana use should be legal in the United States, with 58% holding that view, tying the high point in Gallup’s 46-year trend.
And no surprise, but it is those so-called “fiscal conservatives” who want to continue wasting tax dollars and ruining lives over marijuana:
Younger Americans, Democrats and independents are the most likely of major demographic and political groups to favor legalizing use of the drug, while Republicans and older Americans are least likely to do so.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos