City mayor Michael Nutter announced that he will sign municipal legislation into law decriminalizing marijuana possession penalties. Under the measure, penalties pertaining to the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis would be reduced from a criminal misdemeanor to a non-summary civil offense, punishable by a $25 fine – no arrest and no criminal record.
PhillyNORML is a sterling example of how ordinary cannabis consumers can band together under the NORML banner and affect real change at the local level. Reformers at the national level don’t have the on-the-ground knowledge of local politics like everyday citizens living in cities like Philadelphia. Local reformers can better cultivate personal relationships with mayors, city councils, and all their staff, as well as integrate with groups as disparate as unions and libertarian groups, parents and police, and churches and universities.