Philly police chief won’t stop marijuana arrests

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says his department won’t stop arresting people for possession of small amounts of marijuana, even if Mayor Michael Nutter signs a bill allowing it.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported (http://bit.ly/UVXMnt ) that Ramsey says the crime is still on the state’s law books, and must still be treated as misdemeanor.

The measure allows the police department to no longer require officers to arrest somebody who is 18 and older for possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana. It would still be punishable by a $25 fine.

The bill’s sponsor, Councilman James Kenney, says other jurisdictions in Pennsylvania don’t arrest people for small amounts of marijuana and the state hasn’t challenged them.

Nutter hasn’t yet said whether he’ll sign it. The bill passed by a veto-proof majority, 13-3.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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