Meet Mike Whiter, Recipient of Philly’s First Marijuana Citation

The marine corps vet, diagnosed with PTSD, says, “Weed saved me, man.”

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As of this morning, Philadelphia is the largest city in the country to decriminalize marijuana. You’ll now receive a $100 fine for smoking in public and a $25 for possession of up to 30 grams — but you will not be arrested. Pot advocate Mike Whiter called dibs on the first marijuana citation weeks ago, and today, he promptly lit up a joint in City Hall’s courtyard at 8 a.m. with police by his side. One quick puff and one handwritten ticket later, Whiter was the happiest man to pay a municipal fine I’ve ever seen.

On the eve of his marijuana citation, I sat down with Whiter to understand the motivation behind the ceremony, what led to him founding Pennsylvania Veterans for Medical Marijuana, and why he thinks marijuana can help millions with PTSD.

whiter-marijuana-citation-400What message are you trying to send by smoking up at City Hall?

My intention is to point out that Philadelphia finally decriminalized marijuana, that it’s the largest city in the country to do so, and I’m here representing veterans who use marijuana for medicine. And we still can’t get our medicine legally. I can go out and smoke and get a $100 fine. I won’t get put in cuffs, but I’m still not going to have legal access to my medicine.

How involved were the police ahead of time?

We’ve been having discussions with the police since Smoke Down Prohibition VI. After that, we decided that we’d extend an olive branch to them and let them know what our intentions were: just non-violent protesters trying to get our medicine. They were very receptive to sitting down with us and cooperating with us.

One of the main topics with decriminalization is the racial bias involved with marijuana arrests, and the hope that decriminalization will free up police to fight more serious crimes. Do you think this law will put a dent in that?

Minorities are arrested at a five-times higher rate than white people in Philly. I walk down Broad Street smoking a joint and nobody says a word to me. Black kid walks next to me, and we’ll both get nailed. It’s just not right. … The racial bias in marijuana arrests is something that we want to point out. The Mayor talks about focusing on real issues like how black men can’t get jobs, but guess what, black men can’t get jobs because they have arrests.

How did you go from being a marine fighting overseas to founding PA Veterans for Medical Marijuana?

I spent 11 years in the Marine Corps. I got my first taste of combat in Kosovo at 23. I went to Iraq and got hurt in 2005. The Marine Corps put me on a “personality disorder.” After I got out, I went to the VA medical system and they said I didn’t have a personality disorder, I had PTSD. They started throwing medication at me. I was on Methadone, Oxycontin, Lexapro, Celexa, Paxil, Prozac — you name it. I was on 40 medications. The VA put me on anti-depressants and turned me into a zombie. I literally sat in front of my TV all day and zoned out. I was 310 pounds. One day I was watching the National Geographic Channel and a medical-marijuana special came on. There was a guy with PTSD, and I thought I would try this. A friend gave me some weed — Mexican dirt weed, the worst stuff you can get — and I smoked and smoked and smoked. Then I decided I would stop taking pills. I knew the pills were not working. They were making me worse.

Describe how PTSD impacted you?

I would be walking down the street, see a trash bag on the side of the road, and it’d scare the shit out of me, because I didn’t know if the trash bag was gonna blow up. I was in Ikea, and somebody dropped a box behind me and I hit the deck. Weed saved me, man.

Do you think it’s significant that Tom Corbett has backed medical marijuana for children with seizures?

He’s supporting CBD-only legislation for children with intractable epilepsy. And the thing about the governor coming out and saying that, is now he’s got these senators listening to him and the House listening to him. When Senate bill 1182 first went into the Senate, it had 40-plus conditions on it. They amended it to I think 10 conditions now. PTSD, traumatic brain injury are included. Cancer is included. They took HIV/AIDs off it. That’s ridiculous man.

That piece of legislation overwhelmingly passed the Senate (43 to 7), but won’t be voted on in the House this year. What are the prospects of passage in the future?

It’s not going to happen soon. When Corbett gets out of there, I don’t know if that’s going to change things. If Tom Wolf gets elected, I know he’s pro-legalization, but we have these conservative politicians in this red state that we live in that are just like, no, marijuana’s a drug, it’s a bad drug, it’s a gateway drug. It’s a gateway to the freaking fridge, man! There are people saying yay for the bill that the Senate passed. They’re saying it’s a step. It’s not a fucking step, man, it’s a step for a medical marijuana program like New Jersey’s, which absolutely doesn’t work, because it doesn’t help patients. It helps the state gain revenue, because they’re charging $500 an ounce for 10% THC weed. But it doesn’t help the patients. And that’s what medical marijuana is about, it’s about helping the people that need it. It’s not about gaining the money for the state, it’s about sick people. It’s medical.

Follow @MalcolmBurnley on Twitter.

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  • SoSorry

    He should have waited until 4:21pm

  • Presbyton

    Don’t blame conservatives, blame old people. The Senate GOP voted for this 20-7.

    • Stel-1776

      That was for a state medicinal program, it was 21-5:

      “Smucker and four other senators — Sen. Pat Vance, R-Cumerland County, Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair County, Sen. Bob Mensch, R-Montgomery County, and Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne County — were the only supporters of his amendment and the only no votes on the bill, which passed 21-5.”

      That bill got torn apart by the senate and blocked by the house, Tom Corbett said he would veto it anyway. He believes cannabis to be “gateway drug that creates all of the drug problems we see in the United States.”

      • http://www.realdoll.com/ Edie the Egg Lady

        It leads to V* i* a *g* r* a**** abuse.

  • k0diak314

    This is why you should join the Libertarian party and leave the D and R behind.

    • Fadeddragon

      Except for the fact that the primary belief of Libertarian’s is that there is no need for federal government. And if that were the case we’d be living in a country where slavery was still in existence, among many other issues that the fed govt. facilitated. Libertarianism is just like communism: there are some good ideas and it may be a good idea on paper, but it would never works properly in real world scenarios (although I’d argue communism is a lot better).

      • Silky Mitts

        except communism resulted in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people and libertarianism resulted in the wealthiest country to ever exist… but yea other than that they’re practically the same!

        • Milky Sitts

          So you think people haven’t died because of capitalism? You shruggalo idiots are so intellectually bankrupt.

          • Silky Mitts

            how can you even die “from” capitalism? Have people died because they voluntarily took risks? Absolutely. But they weren’t butchered by their own governments like the victims of communism.. you have no argument. Take your high school logic back to youtube comments..

      • k0diak314

        Are you being facetious?

        Did you type that wearing your Che Guevara tshirt?

        Comparing Libertarianism to Communism is like comparing an elephant to a pickle.

        • Fadeddragon

          Oh lord, you’re one of “those” Lib-tards huh?

        • AynRandTookSocialSecurity

          Check out this moron who doesn’t realize that libertarianism in every country except America is actually left wing, generally socialist, and occasionally communist.

          Reminder that the split of the First International was because of ideological arguments between Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin, and that Bakunin’s populist socialist anarchism was where libertarianism was originally born. It wasn’t until the 50s that the American plutarchs decided to co-opt the name and the populist messaging.

          Long story short, go back to Reddit kid.

          • k0diak314

            Whats a reddit?

            Im 39 BTW kid.

      • Moe Money

        u obviously don’t know what the “federal” government consists of….

        • Fadeddragon

          No, of course not. The degree which I earned in history was just for fun 😀

      • https://thepiratebay.se/ Wolfgang

        The libertarian movement seems to have been taken over by Tea Party crazies, in my opinion. The original platform of the movement was the promotion of civil liberties for all. Respecting freedom of speech, private property, religion, e.t.c. No discrimination towards any person or belief.

        The whole small government, no taxes thing is a Neo-libertarian movement which completely contradicts the idea of the government protecting civil liberties for all.

        A true democracy is biased towards minorities because the majority always wins.

    • Mike

      I register as an Independent, as I want to vote for the best candidate no matter what party they are in. Right now our system as well as our government is broken, the dems and repubs are almost identical, as they are all looking out for themselves, their campaign contributions, and their rich political donors. When a company or person donates a lot of money, they expect something in return, and that is why the rich and corporations run this country, and the average citizen gets overlooked. Please vote a third party this election, send a message to our politicians that we are sick of the same old crap, and we want our politicians to put citizens best interest ahead of all others.

    • SuckKochKodiak

      Go away Shruggalo. Nobody wants your Ayn Rand brand of oligarchy.

  • Silky Mitts

    If you lock someone in a cage for smoking a plant, you’re the criminal.

    • Moe Money

      -joe rogan.

    • marcine cohen

      America’s Founders would emphatically agree – with plenty of hemp rope put to use

      • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

        idiotic and untrue. plenty of good arguments out there that aren’t made up. feel free to use one of them.

        • marcine cohen

          America’s Founders were all farmers of Cannabis Sativa, and they’d use it to fashion the hangman’s noose, for its prohibitionists. They used to only jail people, for not growing it. Your omission of hemp history is an accessory, to the crime. “Outlawing the ‘canvas’ and also Cannabis-oil-paints, of our museum masterpieces?!” You bet they’d make real-quick use, of the hempen hangman’s noose!!

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            it’s shocking how little you understand about both history and agriculture. try smoking rope hemp and see how far that gets you.

          • https://thepiratebay.se/ Wolfgang

            Hey champ, there are many variants of hemp; one of them being a specific strain of Cannabis sativa. You claim marcine cohen’s comment to be “idiotic and untrue”, yet the link below shows that you are the only one being idiotic and untrue, here. Provide some evidence! Where are your facts?

            http://www.alternet.org/drugs/whats-difference-between-hemp-and-marijuana

            Please refrain from insulting people on a subject you clearly know nothing about.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            Cool. You be on the side of people who think the founding fathers grew marijuana; they’re over there with the 9/11 truthers and the “have you heard about the Illuminati?!? crowd.” I’ll be over here with everyone else.

            Thankfully, none of you exist outside of college campuses and head shops.

          • https://thepiratebay.se/ Wolfgang

            That’s because they did grow marijuana; 9/11 truthers are retarded; Illuminati was made up in a movie; what is a headshop?

            Do you need me to clear up anything else for you? I’ll reiterate my last statement since you are too incompetent to answer a simple question: Where are your facts? What brings you to these accusations?

            You are a troll who resorts to name calling and juvenile insults in a futile attempt to justify your comments. I’ve provided you with researched, and cited, evidence arguing against your previous statement.

            When you’re ready to hang with the big dogs, shoot me a message. Until then, stop commenting on subjects you know nothing about.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            You aren’t worth a civil conversation, because you think you’re entitled to your own facts. I really don’t care about you. What I’m worried about is the chance that someone stumbles upon comments like these and parrots your nonsense.

            If you think the founding fathers grew marijuana, you’re misinformed.
            If you say that the founding fathers grew/smoked/sold marijuana in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, you’re a liar.
            If you slander the founding fathers to justify your pro or anti legalization argument, you’re an idiot and a disgrace.

          • https://thepiratebay.se/ Wolfgang

            I’ll repeat myself for the third time here, Richie: Stop commenting on subjects you know nothing about.

            You have failed to bring up ANY documentation regarding your claims; you call names and expect them to have some sort of emphasis in your argument.

            “I’m entitled to my own facts?” What on Earth does that even mean you rambling, incompetent buffoon? Facts are facts you imbecile. You can either except the facts, or keep your mouth shut.

            The latter of which is your best choice of options, but you seem incapable of quitting while you’re ahead. This isn’t a negotiation; this a one-sided argument and you have been losing since the beginning.

            For the fourth time now: Provide some evidence for your claims, or kindly screw off. You have nothing but opinionated comments which are all false, mind you.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            Seriously, man, you’re out of your depth here.

            Let’s see. “You’re entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts” – that’s a pretty well known political quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Most people over the age of 20 have heard of it before. The rest would have at least Googled it. You didn’t. But stewing in your own ignorance is your thing, so cool.

            2nd (and you should really have known this too), I don’t have to provide proof that the founding fathers DIDN’T grow/smoke/sold marijuana. You have to prove that they did. You’re making a logical fallacy. Check it out – that one’s for free. My gift to you.

            https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/burden-of-proof

            And please, search all you want. You won’t find a single legitimate, peer reviewed source that will prove your point.

            So again, your claim is idiotic. You’re a disgrace for making it.

          • https://thepiratebay.se/ Wolfgang

            Jesus man, you are literally about 5 IQ points shy of being legally retarded. I’ve provided you with proof of my statement, and I’m going to do it again:

            http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dope/etc/cron.html

            Deitch, Robert (2003). Hemp – American History Revisited. New York City: Algora Publishing. p. 16.
            ISBN 0-87586-206-3.

            http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/history/slavery.htm

            I’ll repeat myself for the fourth time, now: Stop commenting on subjects you know nothing about.

            Richie likes to seduce animals.

            See? Now since you can’t disprove that, it must be true according to the “Burden of Proof” which means nothing outside of a losing person’s argument.

            Here’s MY gift to you, you dolt:

            http://www.quickmeme.com/img/37/37df0a65c5e18d3fa7ec7802198141d63e8d3f6af42fe4ca69f6bd8709cc9ca4.jpg

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            So in other words, no proof. Other than that, again, you don’t know the difference between hemp and marijuana.

            Burden of proof is on you to find just one shred of credible evidence that says the founding fathers grew/smoked/sold marijuana. You can’t. Because it doesn’t exist. So, for example if you were to make a statement like “ritchie seduces small animals” – burden of proof would be on you to prove it in the affirmative. Burden of proof is never on the negative to prove something DIDN’T happen. It’s logic 101.

          • https://thepiratebay.se/ Wolfgang

            The irony continues, because you relentlessly state that the Founding Fathers didn’t smoke marijuana. First off, I never stated they smoked marijuana. I said it was GROWN during the colonial times. Which I have provided you with over, and over, and over again. You just keep repeating yourself saying that it cannot be proven, even though it has been…

            HEMP = MARIJUANA. They’re the same thing!!! How many times do I have to explain this to you? Hemp is a specific variety of Cannabis sativa that is low in THC, and is taller than its relatives.

            It’s shameful and pathetic that you are allowed to be a school teacher. It really, really is. Your reluctance to admit fault not only highlights your ignorance, but your arrogance that arises when you are proven wrong.

            “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

            You keep throwing around “Burden of Proof” like it somehow supports your argument. YOU’RE the one who said cohen’s comment was “idiotic and untrue” in reference to hemp rope. The burden of proof is on YOU, champ. It’s called “Proving a Negative”. Most people that are high school teachers know this.

            Civil discourse doesn’t work in regards to one party continues to supply evidence, and the other simply say “nah, that’s not true”. Based on what? How is it not true? According to you?

            Are you the leading historian on hemp cultivation during colonial America? Are you 500 years old and were best buddies with the Founding Fathers?

            Aside from name calling, and stating that every shred of evidence I have provided you with as “false”, you have NOTHING to support your comments.

            I’ll be here all day, Special Teams rookie. “Proving a Negative” look that up and cite your argument, or stop wasting my time.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            So there it is. no proof. You think the hemp grown for rope and textiles is pot. That’s what I mean by “entitled to your own facts.” it simply isn’t.
            I’m not even going to bother with the grammar errors or the malapropisms, because you’re a lost cause. And explaining logic to you seems pointless. If you’re going to sit there and tell me you don’t understand how the burden of proof lies with the affirmative and not the negative, you’re hopeless.

            You can’t make the statement – “George Washington smoked pot, and it’s true unless you can prove he didn’t.” It’s totally illogical.

            Hemp isn’t the same thing as pot. The founding fathers did not grow pot. You’re a loser for saying so.

            Now (hopefully) everyone who comes across this will realize it too.

            Clearly I’ve gotten to you, or else you wouldn’t have taken the time to stalk me online.

          • https://thepiratebay.se/ Wolfgang

            The irony continues, again. Evidence has been provided, and you have not disproved it. I’ll repeat that as much as needed.

            There are many varieties of hemp, one of them being a specific variety of marijuana. I’m not asking for an opinion; just stating the facts.

            In contrast to your belief, you have not honored the “burden of proof”. Again, the burden of proof now lies with you.

            Nobody that scrolls through these comments will acknowledge what you said, because it is all false information. I sincerely hope you realize this. Regardless, those more competent that yourself will simply read the facts that I have provided.

            Thanks for dragging this out, bud. Goes to show that the anti-marijuana crowd relies on unsubstantiated claims, and false allegations in order to promote their message.

          • Michael Moulds

            The illuminati are very real, but thanks for the disinformation. Now, go back to your master.

          • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

            best thing about tinfoil hats is that they’re portable.

          • Guest

            And the best thing about blinders is one swize seems to fit all.

          • Michael Moulds

            And the best thing about blinders is they only come in one size.

    • LikeBuffaloWingsALittleTooMuch

      Are you okay with Medicaid NOT covering any healthcare costs attributable to the smoking?

      • Silky Mitts

        im okay with no medicaid period.. soooo?

        • dnabrice

          There would be a lot of people with poor access to healthcare if you got rid of medicaid.

          • Silky Mitts

            poor accesss? there’s plenty of access to healthcare in Philadelphia…

  • David Flinchum

    I’m sure that wasn’t a clear case of profiling either, was it? lol

  • KarmikCykle

    Glad he found something that worked for his PTSD.

  • MeanDean

    Sorry to bust your Bubble but Boston has been decriminalize for three years and it is a little bigger than Philly.

    • LearnToCount

      um.. no it isn’t

    • Turk502

      Boston hasn’t been bigger than Philly since the 1700s. When our Founding Fathers grew weed. That Martha Washington was a hip, hip lady.

    • k0diak314

      Is that common core geography you are using?

    • IMtehUber1337

      Philadelphia is both larger in population as well as in square feet. You must have been high when you wrote that.

    • Presbyton

      Boston is barely bigger than Northeast Philadelphia.

    • Schtef

      Nope, Philly is bigger. In both sq. miles avid population.

    • FactChekah

      Boston is 89.63 sq miles. Philly is 143. Boston didn’t fully decriminalize, Philly did. Finally, Philly has 1.553 million ppl, Boston has 864,000. Why does everyone from Boston confuse it for some blend of Rome and NYC?

    • Guest

      Philadelphia has more than twice the population of Boston, bud.

  • Antonio José

    I’m not from the USA, so bare with my ignorance…
    Is the guy smoking allowed to burn it to the end, after receiving the fine?
    Will it be a fine for each cigarette or the guy may smoke more than one for the US$100 fine?

    • k0diak314

      Anything that fills the city coffers.

    • IMtehUber1337

      They would most likely confiscate it and everything else he had on him after a frisk.
      http://fourthamendment.com/?p=2453

  • A Freedom Fighter

    Data direct from CDC dot gov show that no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose in all recorded medical history, while tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs directly cause over 650,000 deaths per year in the US.
    US CDC Figures directly from the CDC dot gov web site on numbers of deaths per year in the USA :
    * Alcohol KILLS over 88,000 US Citizens per year + 16,000 traffic deaths
    * Tobacco KILLS over 400,000 US Citizens per year
    * Prescription drugs KILLS over 265,000 US Citizens per year + 5,000 traffic deaths
    * Cannabis KILLS, zero, nada not a single overdose death in all medical history and no significant history of traffic problems.
    End the lies and legalize

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      fair.

      I’d ask you to consider two things. first is the logic of the argument. X should be legal because Y is worse. We both know you can’t make tobacco or alcohol illegal (again).

      second – “no significant history of traffic problems” is misleading. Nobody can agree on what an acceptable or legal amount of THC in the blood is, let alone how to test for it. What we are getting is anecdotal reports from law enforcement that suggests the problem has the potential to be as bad or worse than drinking-and-driving. Time inc did a pretty good study with some sobering statistics. Check it out if you’re interested.

      http://time.com/3455621/driving-while-high/

      • Sandydog

        You have to pay to read that story.

  • J3st3r

    Such bs- It’s a PLANT. Why are people being fined and confined over a PLANT!?!? COME ON!

    • GreenGuilt

      It IS a plant. So are heroin and cocaine. I don’t think you should ever use this argument again.

      • Anthony Zul

        No. Those are not the same things. If you want to discuss those in similar terms than use the natural unprocessed plant they are derived from. But ingesting poppies, or coca leaves, will not do to you what the very highly processed, man made, products of heroin and cocaine will do to you.

        They are not the same.

        • GreenGuilt

          That’s the myth bro. They aren’t “highly processed”. Sure, MDMA, Meth, PCP – those are highly processed drugs, but no heroin (READ: MORPHINE) and cocaine are not “highly processed” man-made products or synthetics. They are plant extracts. They come DIRECTLY from plants.

      • Ahahahaha

        Lolol, I wasn’t aware there was specifically a heroin and cocaine plant. I’m sorry, are poppies and cocoa illegal? You going to get a few years for growing some poppies and cocoa plants?

        • GreenGuilt

          Cocoa beans are extracted for their use in cooking milk chocolate bro.

          • Bro…

            Bro, cacao and coca are not related… Chocolate and cocaine have nothing to do with each other, you’re probably remembering that coca extract used to be an ingredient in coca-cola… hence the name.

      • Sandydog

        You can grow poppy’s some places, it’s illegal to extract the opium.

      • http://soundcloud.com/r-o-b HuntingtonROB

        Drugs…NO DRUG is the problem. Addiction is the problem.

  • http://LicenseRestoration.com LicenseRestorationCom

    Will Philly report these violations to PennDOT as required by state law?
    Will Mike feel the same way once he gets his mandatory 6 month driver’s license suspension for the first violation?
    If Philly does not report this violation, will they be forced to report it down the road causing huge headaches just like the courts caused residents of years old drug convictions?

    This is going to be a mess for everyone once the state/PennDOT catch up to all this.

    • Youssef Ismail

      Not really. They could just focus on actual crime and end the circus show. No one cares about people smoking pot.

    • sideeye

      “And furthermore, you kids get back to work! That Social Security fund my elected officials emptied while you were kids isn’t going to refill itself so that I can suckle off of it for the rest of my life while entirely neglecting the fact that you will never see one cent of the money you’re paying into it. Thanks, by the way.”

    • shareit

      Marijuana possession for small amounts under one ounce is no longer a crime but a $25 ticket like a traffic ticket. Smoking Marijuana in public in small amounts of weed is no longer a crime (decriminalization) but a $100 ticket like a traffic ticket. You are confusing the old law in which smoking marijuana in public was a crime and you could lose your drivers license for 6 months, get a criminal record which no longer will happen for just a joint. But if you have over one ounce of marijuana then you still can lose your drivers license for 6 months, & get a criminal record.

      • http://LicenseRestoration.com LicenseRestorationCom

        I do understand the changes to how Philly handles the violation. There still a conviction of a violation involving a controlled substance according to the laws of the Commonwealth and/or United States.

        I believe that if Philly does NOT report these citations related to controlled substances, they will be violating state law that requires notification to PennDOT (as currently written in § 1532c for suspension of license) …of any offense involving the possession, sale, delivery, offering for sale, holding for sale or giving away of any controlled substance under the laws of the United States, this Commonwealth or any other state …

        The state law makes no distinction between the new $25/$100 fines and the old violations. If Philly reports the conviction to PennDOT as (I believe) required under state laws, then violators will be facing the driver’s license suspension terms.

        http://www.licenserestoration.com/2014/09/philly-legalize-marijuana-think

  • Youssef Ismail

    Let’s simplify the discussion. If you ththing marijuana use is a crime, and the prohibition of marijuana should continue, you’re an idiot. Next…

    • https://twitter.com/richcolton RichC, brings duck to cockfigh

      you sure are simple

  • Mymach1

    “The Mayor talks about focusing on real issues like how black men can’t get jobs, but guess what, black men can’t get jobs because they have arrests.”….. Or maybe cuz they can’t pass a whiz quiz or put down the green long enough to fill out an application…..

    • Mike Rowe (from dirty jobs)

      This veteran couldn’t pass a ‘whiz quiz’ either. Or the vast majority of white teenagers and young adults. Marijuana use is not something only one race participates in, your bigotry invalidates any opinion you may have on the subject.

  • firespirit3

    ur an idiot for legalization yea pay 300 an ounce tax

  • Dominic

    Good man with a good message, and he’s damn right. We need to get rid of this ignorance by whatever means necessary. These baby steps are better than nothing, but quite frankly it’s fairly obvious the politicians are trying to appear to be “with the times” but constantly pander to those uneducated ignorant folks that have let propaganda replace common sense.

    One thing we can for sure all do is get involved at the local level, and VOTE on ANY possible election. Unfortunately, the ignorant conservative types simply vote more than anyone else, so they have a disproportionate amount of representation.

    The good news, however, is that the snowball of legalization has started rolling, and will only continue to get bigger. I’d personally say it’s become inevitable already, but we should all do our best to fight those that would attempt to obstruct it.

  • KIND BUD

    THIS IS STUPID WE NEED TO LEGALIZE WEED IN P.A. 2014-2015

  • Carshing D Moran

    The corporate/government bureaucracy in Pa. is the worst in the country. I grew up there, and come from a family that has been there for generations. I know Pa. well, which is why I left, and will never go back. These politicians are just fronts for corporations. Mr. Whiter summed it up when he said that the Dr.’s at the V.A. had him on “Methadone, Oxycontin, Lexapro, Celexa, Paxil, Prozac…. 40 medications”… If they legalize marijuana, the pharmaceutical companies lose out on billions!!!!!

  • american46

    A nice touchy feel piece. Philly seems to have a good approach on marijuana. My take away, don’t smoke it public…that’s a pretty steep fine.

  • Michelle Sapp

    Natural remedies should never be illegal, Pharmacy is a huge industry driving for it to stay illegal so they can keep ppl on 40 meds a month and they could give a rats ass if they work or side effects. This guy is right and a true patriot. Thank you for your service Mike , Blessings & wishing you health & happiness how ever you get there….

    • GreenGuilt

      Heroin and cocaine, not to mention peyote, “magic mushrooms”, etc. are also “natural” remedies. There are plenty of reasons marijuana should be legal, but again, these stoner logic arguments just don’t hold water.

      • Broooo…

        Peyote and mushrooms are perfectly acceptable ‘natural remedies’… In fact, I read a legitimate study in Science News on Psilocybin and it’s ability to combat depression and addiction. I think the stoner argument is more about “what remedies are really poisonous”(Alcohol, tobacco, many pharmaceuticals, cocaine, heroine etc.), and “what remedies are obviously not bad for your body”.

      • Mike

        I live in Colorado (a state that ignored a federal law that has never worked and has destroyed thousands of lives) where marijuana is legal for everyone over 21, as it should be everywhere. The “stoner” logic for making it legal was that it should be treated and taxed just like alcohol, as it is a much safer alternative. Nobody has ever overdosed on marijuana. Why throw any body in jail costing taxpayers money, when here in Colorado we have collected almost 30 million dollars in tax revenue, as well as provided thousands of jobs in the cannabis industry. The police don’t have to waste time busting pot smokers. It frees up jail space, and it is so nice to be able to walk into a store and choose from 50 different strains of bud, as well as edibles, hash, dab, wax, oil. This is the future, so get used to it, as all states need the money and this is a win-win situation.

  • the guy in the chair

    Silly. these law enforcement morons need to stand up and protest unjust laws.

    hey! don’t light that plant material on fire and inhale the smoke! THAT’S ILLEGAL BECAUSE A FEW PEOPLE SAID SO

  • Mike

    This is a good first step, but just legalize it completely like they did here in Colorado. Frees up the police to concentrate on real crime, adds tax revenue (which every state needs), crime rates go down, tourism goes up, everybody feels fine. Legalize it NOW!!!!

  • Patrick Duff
  • Marina

    It’s funny how it says that black people can’t get jobs in Philly. I’m white and one of the reasons why I had to leave philly was because everywhere I applied to I couldn’t get a job there, because all of the employees except one were black, usually the manager. I couldn’t even get a job at McDonald’s, or any other fast food place. Maybe it was my high marks in school and perfect discipline record that made me not get the job, but whatever the reason, I guess it’s not easy for white people to get a job there either, unless the article is only talking about jobs that pay more instead of just minimum wage.

    • saltine buster

      If you couldn’t get a job at McDonald’s then you’re truly a pathetic LOSER!!!

      • Marina

        I only couldn’t get it because every employee was black. There’s always a new employee everytime, and every new employee is black. The only employee I’ve ever seen that was white was the manager. It’s not because I’m stupid that I didn’t get the job (since every class I took in high school were honor classes and I got 100’s in each and was one of the top students in my grade), it’s simply because of my color that I couldn’t get the job. Some people told me that they don’t accept people with GPA’s that are too high, because they think the person won’t stay long, which I thought didn’t make sense since people were coming and going all the time there, but maybe that is what they do since they did ask for my GPA.

  • Richard Kiene

    Took my first hit in DaNang in 1969.After Nam,and Somalia LOVE IT…

  • EbolaJenkins

    nah-nuh-nuh-nuh nah-nuh-nuh-nuh WHITE-Gurlz… nah-nuh-nuh-nuh nah-nuh-nuh-nuh Grape Soda.
    wooh-ooh-ooh… waAHHHHHH!!!!… AAAAAHHH!!!!!… AHHHHHHHHH!!!!…

  • saltine buster

    All of you ignorant racist who claim that minorities are the only ones who smoke weed and get high, take a look at the color of the vet’s face in the picture. He clearly stated that even with weed smoking blacks are 5x more likely to get summoned or arrested for smoking weed meanwhile walking by himself he will not be approached by the cops. Unless of course he’s with a brother!!

  • ArrogantDrunk

    Loser

    • HinkleyHadAVision

      Yeah how dare this guy fight for his country and find treatment for the disorder that doing so gave him.

      You braying jackass.

  • PropertyTaxIndependenceAct

    The current bill was drafted after several parents of children with intractable epilepsy met with legislators. When Senate bill 1182 first went
    into the Senate, it had 40-plus conditions on it. They amended it to include about 10 conditions, now. PTSD, traumatic brain injury are included.
    Some cancers are included. They took HIV/AIDs off it. Chronic Pain management is not on the list as 99.9% of other chronic and/or serious conditions are also excluded.
    And, of course, since big drug companies contributed money to supportive legislators’ campaigns, the current medical marijuana bill only legalizes a typically very expensive pill and liquid form.
    Read
    more at
    http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/10/20/meet-mike-whiter-recipient-phillys-first-marijuana-citation/#oyKr4qIy4tTt8CGH.99

  • Dennis Robinson

    It’s about the US Constitution and what it states “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”, Marijuana is not a narcotic it is an herb both for medical use and a harmless recreational pursuit.
    The United States Government has no right to criminalize it, when there is no evidence of it being harmful to health or even the slightest bit addictive as is alcohol and tobacco which are legal pursuits.
    Also what about how they allow opiates to be handed out like candy by Big Phama who are the real criminals in the drug business murdering thousands annually but of course they also give out billions of dollars annually in campaign funding, and isn’t this what it’s really all about?
    Protecting the Golden Calf and these politicians cash cow? I would never go to any medical professionals of the AMA for any reason because of what I consider barbaric practices. I also refuse to carry health insurance because they only pay for treatment by medical professionals of the AMA, Alternative medicine need not apply.
    My health is my concern and not the governments, I should have the say so over my own religion and my own belief is mine and mine alone so to force me to have medical insurance and use AMA doctors is against my constitutional rights as is my own choice for using marijuana.