Is it Time to Free George Martorano?

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George Martorano has been in federal prison for a very long time. The son of late Philadelphia mobster Raymond Martorano was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after his 1982 arrest. His crime? George Martorano was a drug dealer. Read more »

Can Marijuana Make John Hanger Governor?

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John Hanger might not be the first guy you’d think of to be the “pot candidate” in this year’s Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign: He’s a Penn Law grad who has held several reasonably high-profile state posts during his career.

Still, it’s Hanger’s aggressive pro-legalization stance that has come to define his candidacy. He both embraces that distinction — believing it might get him the numbers to win the Democratic primary — and eschews it, saying that he’s got plans and proposals to address a host of issues afflicting the state.

Talk to him, and you might find yourself suspecting Hanger could benefit from a toke or two. He can be frenetic in conversation, packing thousands of words and many ideas into a compact space, as though he were racing to beat an invisible timer. And that’s when he’s focused on the conversation — he interrupted his phone call with Philly Mag last week to do campaign business, offering buttons and bumper stickers to supporters. “We’re going to knock those elites out of office,” he promised.

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Poll: Jersey Residents Prefer Legalized Pot to Online Gaming

AP reports on New Jersey’s vice preferences: “A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll finds 41 percent of respondents would support smoking marijuana recreationally if it became legal. That compares to only 32 percent who support gambling over the Internet, which is legal in New Jersey now. The poll finds support for online gambling has fallen, even as it enters its third full month and more than 150,000 online gambling accounts have been set up in the state.”

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You Must Be High If You Think Tom Corbett Will Legalize Marijuana

Governor Corbett isn’t going to hop on the pot legalization bandwagon. “Contrary to what some members of the [state] Senate view as ‘recreational’ marijuana, I don’t believe it is recreational,” Corbett said Tuesday.”Marijuana is a huge gateway drug to the drug problems we have in this country. … It leads to the abuse of many other drugs, including cocaine and heroin.” That’s almost certainly not true — except, possibly, in that marijuana use can be associated with abuse of … legal prescription drugs. But that’s an irony that nobody will contemplate too closely. [Inquirer]

Not So Fast: Councilman Kenney Not Ready for Marijuana Legalization

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On Tuesday, Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney announced that he was introducing a bill to eliminate mandatory arrests for possessions of small amounts of marijuana. Why should we take two cops off the street for hours just because they find some dude with a joint? he reasons. Plus, there’s the issue of  the “statistically implied discriminatory nature” of marijuana arrests.

And after we published that story, there came this “LEGALIZE NOW!” tweet from the official Twitter account of Councilman Kenney:

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