Mayor Nutter Harshes Our Mellow

Once again, he's blocking marijuana decriminalization in Philly.

CBS Philly reports that Mayor Nutter stands in the way of a marijuana decriminalization bill being promoted by Councilman Jim Kenney. The bill would make possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana — about an ounce — a simple “code violation,” punishable only by a $25 fine.

Officers would still have the discretion to make an arrest, though, and that’s the basis of the Nutter Administration’s objection.

Public safety director Mike Resnick told committee members that because officers would still have the discretion to charge, it creates an unfair situation.

“The consequences could be significant as equally reasonable and well-trained law enforcement professionals make decisions in widely varying circumstances,” Resnick said.  “Consistentcy and fairness are the hallmarks of procedural justice, and allowing or creating such a dichotomy of possible outcomes for the same violation is simply unfair.”

Resnick said it would also be difficult for an officer to determine on the spot if the amount of marijuana seized was more than 30 grams.

The full council will vote on the bill June 19th.