Philadelphia became the largest U.S. city to decriminalize marijuana possession earlier this year. The marijuana decriminalization measure was passed by the Philadelphia City Council after a hard fought battle. Since marijuana decriminalization took effect there has been a very dramatic decrease in marijuana arrests, as expected. Per Philly.Com:
Data provided by the Philadelphia Police Department to Philly420 shows a sharp decline in marijuana arrests since a new decriminalization policy went into effect. But, despite the change, some local residents are still getting handcuffed for weed.
From Oct. 20 to Nov. 20 just 20 of the new tickets were issued: 14 for possession and 6 for smoking in public. Possession of under 30 grams (about an ounce) results in a $25 ticket. Smoking it in public nets a fine of $100 and community service.
There were still 72 arrests for marijuana in the last month, but that was significantly less than the same time period in 2013. This year in the same period, there were about 320 arrests. Overall that’s a decline of 78 percent.
I would love to see statistics that show what other arrests occurred for other crimes during that same time period. Now that cops can focus on going after real criminals instead of arresting people for marijuana, the streets of Philadelphia are going to be a lot safer. I look forward to a day when there are zero arrests for marijuana in Philadelphia. Keep fighting until marijuana is legalized in Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania as a whole, and beyond!