Is Mayor Nutter Making Nice on Pot Decriminalization?
It looks as though Mayor Nutter is charting a new course on pot decriminalization.
Newsworks reports that the mayor — who still has several weeks to veto or approve City Council’s decriminalization bill — is now working on his own plan to deal with small-time possession.
What’s more, he’s dropped the sneering tone that accompanied his previous statements on the topic — and seems surprised that anybody thought there was a conflict on the topic.
Nutter will have to make a decision in a few weeks. The bill authored by Councilman Jim Kenney passed just before council went away for its summer recess in June. Mayor Nutter says he is still working on a plan to deal with possession of small amounts of pot in the city.
“Our goals are not in conflict with each other,” said Nutter. “I think it’s unfortunate that it’s been characterized that we are in some kind of disagreement. The issue is how we address this particular issue, not whether or not there should be unnecessary arrests or engagement by the police department the [District Attorney’s] office or the courts.”
That’s a tad disingenuous of the mayor: As we’ve noted previously, his comments on the matter have been marked mostly with a tone of petulance. If the story has been covered as one of disagreement, it’s because of the mayor’s own words.
But if the mayor is coming around — and let’s see what plan he actually offers before applauding him — we’ll be happy to see it. And maybe even happy to let him fudge the history of this debate a teeny bit.