Philadelphia: District Attorney To Cease Prosecuting Marijuana Possession Offenders

Philadelphia officials announced today that they will no longer prosecute marijuana possession offenses.

In October 2014, Philadelphia enacted a municipal ordinance reclassifying cases involving the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis to a non-summary civil offense, punishable by a $25 fine – no arrest and no criminal record. Since that time, annual arrests for marijuana possession violations have fallen by an estimated 85 percent. However, despite this decrease, police have continued to make several hundreds of marijuana possession arrests yearly. These arrest primarily target young people pf color.

Newly elected District Attorney Larry Krasner declared today that the city will no longer prosecute those additional cases. “What we’re talking about is the 10 percent or so that are being charged as they used to be, as misdemeanors in court,” he said. “We are going to … drop any cases that are simply marijuana possession.”

Krasner said that refusing to pursue these cases is “the right thing to do.”

Last week, Seattle city officials announced their intentions to vacate the criminal convictions of minor marijuana possession offenders. The week prior, city officials in San Francisco announced plans to automatically expunge thousands of past marijuana possession convictions.

12 thoughts

  1. the voice of sanity…the endo-cannabinoid systems in all non-brainwashed brains breathe a sigh of relief.. one small but meaningful step towards recognition of the function and importance of our brains endo-cannabinoid system as an essential part of our brains ability to perform therapeutic responses to such things as pain, seizures and other real
    and serious disorders humans may suffer..

    our brains endo-canninoid system uses cannabidiols created in our brain/body
    – together with plant based cannabinoids –
    such as produced by cannabis sativa,,
    a gift from god if ever there was one..

    in the not too distant future educated humans will not believe that people in responsible positions today, such as general sessions,
    could fail to understand our brains endo-cannabinoid system,, and deliberately
    create false illegality around it by scheduling
    cannabis and cbd’s as the same as heroin and strychnine etc…

    there is corruption, then insanity…

  2. Great news! The powers that be stop prosecuting people for ridiculous “crimes” then crime naturally goes down.

  3. Houston and San Antonio are already saving millions of dollars after decriminalizing.

    Think of what this means to so many families that won’t be torn apart over an unaffordable drug sentence?

    Decrim doesn’t stop the black market, but it stops the immediate cultural and economic cost of sending good people to prison. Pay attention to the lower ballot races… A Sherrif and a DA need to be vetted DURING elections!

  4. A decision on whether or not to prosecute is based on the credibility of the evidence, not the DA’s or prosecutor’s personal views. No matter where one stands on the issue of legalization, as long as it is still an illegal substance in a jurisdiction, it must be prosecuted. Personal use, probation. Dealing, jail.

    1. This doesnt sound accurate, any enforcement authority has the discretion to enforce laws in the way they see fit.

    2. Wrong, Stephen: The CSAct has no grounds any longer, not under the Supremacy Clause or the Commerce Clause.

      The 10th amendent of the Constitution has been Democratically tested and approved for nearly 250 years to allow states and their juristictions to write and enforce their own criminal laws without Federal intervention. While certainly “opinions” of a DA or Sherrif must be held accountable to local law, any discrepancies between Philadelphia’s marijuana decriminalization and Pennsylvania state law can be taken up with the State Supreme Court. You know, the one with Democratic Justices that cited down the racist, partisan, gettymandered district maps made by Republicans? Yeah, THAT State Supreme Court.

  5. I would like to see Philly become the first Mokum for coffeeshops in the U.S. I mean, walk into one and its like an Amsterdam style coffeeshop. I frankly don’t care that the state hasn’t legalized adult recreational, only MMJ. Mr. Krasner can be the someone who signs the Philly gedoogvergunning, and he’s going to have to decide about what kind of a BIBOB hurdle people have to get past. Independence Hall. Perfect place for the freedom. Philly, you got to celebrate your bowl!

    Elton John is sooo right!

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