In Philadelphia, African-Americans are five times more likely than their white counterparts to be arrested for marijuana, according to a national ACLU report, despite the fact that both groups use marijuana at the same rate.
Individuals caught with small amounts of marijuana are not only arrested and detained, but if convicted, also face a lifetime of consequences, including limited job opportunities and no access to public housing or federal financial student aid.
The pronounced racial disparity also has a negative impact on police/community relations.
It's time to end the War on Marijuana. A bill passed by Philadelphia’s City Council would reduce possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil violation and reduce the penalty to a $25 fine.
As of August 13, 2014, Mayor Nutter has not decided whether to sign the bill or not. Philadelphia Police Chief Ramsey has publicly stated that whether or not the bill becomes law, he will continue to charge individuals for marijuana possession under the harsher state law.
Please call Mayor Nutter's office at 215-686-7508 and tell him to sign the City Council bill reducing the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana and order Chief Ramsey to comply with city law.
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