Philly.com reports: “City Council’s committee on law and government favorably passed a bill that would end mandatory custodial arrests for the crime of possessing a small amount of marijuana. … Sponsored by Councilman Jim Kenney, the ordinance now goes before the full City Council Thursday for first reading.” Later this week, though, another council committee will consider sharply restricting the sale and use of e-cigarettes in Philadelphia.
There’s an old conservative joke that liberals will outlaw cigarette smoking about the same time the legalize marijuana. In Philadelphia, that joke will become almost literally true next week.
While New Jersey’s medical marijuana law may have its faults, marijuana is available for qualified patients in the Garden State. And now it has its own television commercial!
Joe Biden has decided to betray every principle the Onion version of him stands for:
Just weeks after President Barack Obama told the New Yorker that the drug is no more dangerous than alcohol, Biden said the Administration supports smarter enforcement, but not outright legalization. “I think the idea of focusing significant resources on interdicting or convicting people for smoking marijuana is a waste of our resources,” Biden told TIME in an interview aboard an Amtrak train on the way to an event in Philadelphia. “That’s different than [legalization]. Our policy for our Administration is still not legalization, and that is [and] continues to be our policy.”
If enforcing the law is a bad idea, why have the law? [TIME]
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.
It’s about medicine, not drugs. Talk to Daylin Leach about his medical marijuana bill long enough, and you’ll come away with a command of that concept, if nothing else. The state senator, a Democrat from Montgomery County, is running for Congress—but before that happens, he’s determined to pass a state bill legalizing the use of cannabis as medicine.
“This will pass. This is gonna pass,” he says. “The question is how soon and whether children have to die before that happens. And that’s why we’re hoping to get it passed very soon. “
After a committee hearing on the bill this week, Leach talked with Philly Mag about medical marijuana, opposition to the bill, and how weed might be different from other items in your medicine cabinet.
Governor Tom Corbett (has) said he opposes medical marijuana* and believes pot to be a gateway drug to harder stuff. What’s your strategy in the face of those kind of long-held, ingrained attitudes?
Well, I mean, we have to educate him. Because first of all, this isn’t pot. This isn’t some leafy substance you smoke in a pipe and get high. This is usually a pill or an oil, and in the case of the kids with Dravet syndrome, who were there (at the committee hearing) today, you can’t get high on it. There are no side effects, you don’t smoke it, it has nothing to do with pot. And the idea that giving non-intoxicating medicine to a three-year-old is a “gateway drug,” just of course is nonsensical. Especially when the alternatives, the drugs we are giving them now, are in fact so addictive and so toxic and have so many horrible side effects, that why we wouldn’t want to give them a benign drug with no side effects, non-addictive, non-intoxicating and much more effective is beyond me.
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:
The Inky reports on Councilman Jim Kenney’s proposal to decriminalize marijuana. “He said he was not advocating full legalization, but was taking his cue from District Attorney Seth Williams’ 2010 decision to handle possession cases involving amounts up to 30 grams – just over an ounce – as summary offenses. Rather, his bill would allow officers to issue a summons, similar to a traffic ticket, requiring people caught with a small amount of marijuana to appear in the special program.Kenney said the change would free up 17,000 police hours spent processing people arrested for pot possession.” Kenney, incidentally, might run for mayor in 2015.