The Philadelphia City Council voted Thursday to decriminalize cannabis, approving a proposal which will now go to Mayor Michael Nutter, who has stated he will sign it into law after the council made some alterations to the measure. The vote was 14 to 2, and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey has agreed to abide by the new law.
Under the approved proposal, the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis for those 21 and older will be decriminalized, making it a simple $25 ticket; if someone is caught smoking in public, the ticket will be raised to $100, with the individual being given the option of doing 9-hours of community service if they can’t afford the fee.
The Council initially approved the measure in June, though it was opposed by Mayor Michael Nutter, who recently reversed his stance, saying that he’ll sign a bill to decriminalize cannabis as long as the ticket is increased to $100 for public consumption.
According to Councilmember James F. Kenney, the bill’s primary sponsor, the move will stop over 4,000 arrests from occurring each year.