BY RORY MCGLASSON/ If the entire city of Philadelphia smoked a joint at the same time, there would be peace in the City of Brotherly Love for at least an hour â€“ followed by a citywide cheesesteak shortage.
But Councilman Jim Kenneyâ€™s marijuana bill isnâ€™t about promoting pot-smoking; itâ€™s about saving the Cityâ€™s Police Dept. valuable resources. Currently, it devotes thousands of man-hours to the prosecution of petty marijuana offenders. He wants the cityâ€™s finest to divert their time and resources to more important crimes, such as murder and gun violence.
Kenneyâ€™s bill to end mandatory arrests for possessing a small amount of marijuana goes before City Council this morning. After receiving unanimous approval from the Councilâ€™s Committee on Law & Government on Monday, Kenney will seek the full Councilâ€™s support of a bill that would end arrests of tokers found with less than one ounce of weed in their pocket.
Smokers like Aaron Fleming, a Temple University student, testified at Mondayâ€™s City Council hearing in support of Kenneyâ€™s bill.
Kenney was joined at that hearing by Councilmen Bobby Henon, Bill Greenlee, Dennis Oâ€™Brien, Curtis Jones and W. Wilson Goode, who heard from police and officials of the Nutter administration, as well as Fleming and other groups who support the bill.