The Brief: A Mayor’s Race Up In Smoke
With tough-on-crime Lynne Abraham and pot-decriminalizer Jim Kenney both running for mayor, is Philadelphia poised to have a serious debate about the criminal justice system in 2015?
Such a conversation could also be pretty entertaining. Take, for instance, the Inquirer’s article looking at the mayoral candidates’ pot policies. Reporter Chris Brennan asked the hopefuls if they’ve ever used marijuana.
Kenney, who plans to formally enter the race Wednesday, discussed on Tuesday at Temple University his successful push last year to decriminalize penalties for people in Philadelphia caught with fewer than 30 grams of marijuana, or about an ounce.
He said he introduced the legislation in Council out of concern over the time police officers spent on arrests. He also said those small-amount drug arrests caused mistrust between police and residents.
Kenney, 56, acknowledged having smoked pot in the past.
You’ll have to read the rest of the report to find out which other candidate ‘fessed up to smoking up.
While we’re on the topic, Kenney said on Tuesday that, if the Pennsylvania General Assembly ever decides to legalize pot, the state would be in a good position to sell it because it already peddles booze.
- The New York Times profiles embattled Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
- Mike Turzai, the Republican speaker of Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives, calls for the expansion of charter schools in Philadelphia ASAP. “As someone who is a parent first and then a legislator, I don’t see this as a cost issue; this is about the kids,” he says.
- And will Philly’s new land bank help urban farmers find land?
Kids behind me at Temple decriminalization panel arguing over what constitutes a stoner. "You are a stoner." "I am not stoner."
— Stephanie Farr (@FarFarrAway) February 3, 2015
— Philly.com (@phillydotcom) February 3, 2015