District Attorney’s Office of Philadelphia has announced that there will be no prosecution of cases that relate to small amounts of marijuana.
According to a memo issued Monday, approximately 300 cases have been denied by the DA’s office since January.
Philadelphia’s DA Larry Krasner made many promises during his election campaign, and not prosecuting people over small amounts of marijuana was one of them.
Spokesman Ben Waxman, meanwhile, said the election campaign also included promises like ending mass incarceration.
“This was seen as something that was a critical component of … focusing on serious cases that pose a threat to public safety.”
“The hope is that people will not needlessly have interactions with the criminal justice system.”
Although cannabis is still on the federal Schedule 1 substance list with heroin and Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), Philadelphia decriminalized it in 2014.
Small quantities of cannabis are described as any quantity under 30 grams.
Thirty grams is equal to a little more than an ounce, making it a decent amount of pot worth about $300.
Like New York
A similar change has taken place in New York City and Brooklyn, with the former being on the verge of legalizing cannabis for adult use.
American Civil Liberties Union reported last year that although steps towards legalization are being made, people of color were being targeted by law enforcement for drug possession.
Waxman has made it clear on how certain cases will be handled.
“We’re getting to the six-month mark of the [Krasner] administration and we’ve made some public promises of how we’re going to handle certain cases.”
The Krasner’s approach coincides with the four-year-old rules implemented by Mayor Michael Nutter and the previous District Attorney Seth Williams.
The plans were initially launched by Mayor Jim Kinney which gave Philadelphia police the power to issue citations for marijuana possession, making cannabis punishable by fines.[share-btn]