Kenney: Pennsylvania Should Just Legalize Weed Already

kenney, weed

On Saturday, Philadelphia police arrested 22 people at a pot party held by marijuana activist NA Poe – proving that the war on drugs is alive and well in Philly.

This morning, Mayor Jim Kenney stopped just short of criticizing the bust when he called it “overkill” and said that the “real solution to this is legalizing [marijuana] in the state of Pennsylvania as they did in Colorado,” according to Philly.com.

At Poe’s Northeast Philly warehouse party on Saturday, Police arrested 19 men and three women, confiscated 50 pounds of marijuana, about $50,000 in cash, several handguns and about 100 pounds of cannabis edibles. About 200 people were detained.

The event functioned as a sort of pop-up market where people could buy and sell various marijuana products. Poe, whose real name is Richard Tamaccio, told Philadelphia magazine’s Victor Fiorillo that he and his girlfriend, Rachael Friedman, sold about 300 tickets to the party, which cost attendees $50 each. They’ve both been charged with seven counts, including possession with intent to deliver; possession of a controlled substance; possession of an instrument of crime; use or possession of drug paraphernalia; conspiracy; causing or risking catastrophe; and recklessly endangering another person. Poe is being held on $250,000 bail.

Marijuana has been decriminalized in Philly since 2014. Kenney worked with Poe and Chris Goldstein (a fellow weed activist who was detained on Saturday) to draft the legislation, which largely applies to those who are caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana.

Following a press conference this morning, Kenney said that while “clearly, it’s illegal to sell [larger] quantities … there was probably another way” to crack down on the pot party “as opposed to the amount of resources that were put into this, especially considering our ongoing relationship with that community,” according to PhillyVoice.

Kenney reportedly said he doesn’t “micromanage the police department” and that he wasn’t aware of plans to raid the party. He noted that the event was also deemed a fire and safety hazard for several reasons – officials with the Department of Licenses and Inspections were also present at the bust.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

Kenney Hiring State, Federal Lobbyists to Appeal to Republican Legislators

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration is in the process of hiring lobbying firms to appeal to Republican legislators in both Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., according to City & State.

The news organization reports that the administration issued a request for proposals for a federal lobbyist this week. In February, the administration signed a $41,667 state contract with Republican lobbying firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and began its search for a second Harrisburg lobbyist.  Read more »

Jim Kenney Owes Seth Williams an Apology

Seth Williams (Matt Rourke/AP) and Jim Kenney (Jeff Fusco).

Seth Williams (Matt Rourke/AP) and Jim Kenney (Jeff Fusco).

Back in 2015, Alex Capasso — then the chef and a partner at The Crow and Pitcher, a little restaurant off Rittenhouse Square — was arrested and charged with one count of distribution of child pornography by the U.S. District Attorney. That’s some pretty bad stuff, right? His friends and co-workers were “shocked and disgusted.” His partners threw him out of the business, with a representative saying publicly that it would “be a blessing to the innocent partners and staff if his infamy did not take them all down in flames.” The restaurant changed its name and, at the time of this writing, Capasso sits in federal custody awaiting trial. The evidence against him looks pretty solid and, if guilty, he deserves, of course, to spend a long time in jail.

But here’s the thing: Capasso is not guilty. So far, he’s been accused of a crime. He hasn’t had his day in court. He has his side of the story to tell. Still, the guy’s life has been ruined. Which brings me to Seth Williams … and Jim Kenney. Read more »

OPINION: Michael Weiss Must Step Down From His Public Roles in the Gayborhood

Michael Weiss | Image via Mazzoni Center's website

Michael Weiss | Image via Mazzoni Center’s website

Michael Weiss is arguably one of the most powerful and politically connected men in the Gayborhood. He’s the co-owner of several popular bars (Woody’s, Rosewood Bar Lounge, and Voyeur), the board secretary of Mazzoni Center, a member of the Philadelphia LGBT Police Liaison Committee, an elected Democratic committeeman/treasurer for the city’s Eighth Ward, and a “special adviser” to District Attorney Seth Williams. Read more »

Temple University Blames Steep Meal Plan Hike on Soda Tax

Morgan Hall at Broad and Cecil B. Moore | Temple.edu

Morgan Hall at Broad and Cecil B. Moore | Temple.edu

Temple University officials plan to raise board rates by 4.8 percent for 2017-18 – and they say the soda tax is to blame.

The Inquirer reports that the sweetened beverage tax the city passed last year will cost the university $400,000 a semester, according to Ken Kaiser, the school’s chief financial officer.  Read more »

Kenney Calls for Modest Spending Boost in Budget Address

Photo by Jeff Fusco

File photo by Jeff Fusco

Mayor Jim Kenney unveiled his budget today in an address to City Council, calling on more funding to fight poverty in the nation’s poorest big city.

“Currently, of the top 10 major U.S. cities, Philadelphia ranks first in poverty and last in job creation,” Kenney said during his speech. “We will only reverse those rankings when we provide all our residents with the basic tools they need to be employable and when we create family-sustaining jobs to employ them.” Read more »

WATCH: This Is the Happiest Mayor Kenney Has Ever Looked

Mayor Jim Kenney usually looks sad.

Ed Rendell told him he needed to smile more, possibly appending “sweetie” onto the end of his advice. Philadelphia magazine’s Holly Otterbein spent the entire opening of an awesome profile she wrote examining how sad the mayor looks.

“But Kenney isn’t happy, at least not at the moment,” she wrote. “‘There are good days, and there are bad days,’ he tells me when I greet him. His eyes are bloodshot. His shirt and tie don’t match.”

If that wasn’t enough evidence, the mayor once tweeted, simply: “So sad sometimes.” That’s the type of emo away message I stopped using around the turn of the millennium. He must’ve been very sad to share it with the world.

But, yesterday, we found out there is at least one thing that makes Mayor Kenney truly, deeply happy: Assisting a Harlem Globetrotter on a trick shot at City Hall. Read more »

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