Philadelphia officials decriminalize small amount of marijuana

Credit: Wiki Commons
Credit: Wiki Commons

Pot smokers in Philadelphia were given some breathing room on Thursday.

City Council voted 13-3 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana before breaking for summer recess.

The bill, championed by Councilman Jim Kenney, will allow police to issue a $25 fine for the possession of under an ounce of pot instead of taking violators to jail.

The three Republican councilman — Dennis O’Brien, David Oh and Brian O’Neil — all voted against the measure.

O’Brien said he felt residents may get the idea that marijuana is no longer illegal in the state of Pennsylvania, and only state lawmakers should grant such changes.

Tashira Moss and her friend Ryan Damon were arrested on May 30 for possession of a small amount of marijuana. Moss went before Council on Thursday and told a full room that she was fired from her job after her arrest.

“I have a record now,” said Moss, who formerly worked at a rental car agency. “Now I don’t know who will hire me. It isn’t right.”

Pastor Darrell Robinson of Yesha Ministries followed Moss and spread his arms at the podium.

“If these young people are not able to get a job, what are their alternatives to take care of themselves and their family?”

“Hopefully,” he said,”this will stop some of the bleeding.”

Councilman Jim Kenney said he will write Mayor Michael Nutter a letter asking him to issue an executive order that will put the bill in place immediately.

While the 13 supportive votes prevent Nutter from vetoing the bill, he can still delay its passage by sending it back to Council for another vote, who are recessed until September.

“I think now that it’s clear that it’s veto proof and the summer is starting, there is no point in having 300 or 400 people locked up over the course of the summer,” Kenney said.


Follow Tommy Rowan on Twitter: @tommyrowan

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.