EARLY WORD: The New Stone Age


RELATED: PhillyNORML’s volunteers have been instrumental in recent efforts to reform local marijuana laws. Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana (PA4MMJ) is supporting the Governor Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. State Representative Mark B. Cohen introduced the bill in the Pennsylvania General Assembly during 2009. State Senator Daylin Leach re-introduced it as SB 1003 for the 2011 session. This bill would create legal protections for citizens with serious medical conditions to safely access or grow cannabis for therapeutic use. It also creates a statewide system if Compassion Centers for patient access. April 2010 saw the news break about PhillyNORML’s efforts working with city officials to change local pot procedures. District Attorney Seth Williams announced an easing of minor possession penalties .  The new Small Amount of Marijuana court program was put into practice in June of 2010 and has saved the city millions of taxpayer dollars. The procedure still requires an arrest but stops the criminal prosecution, collects a fine and automatically expunges the arrest once a weekend class is completed. Over 800,000 pot arrests are performed each year in America. Almost 30,000 are recorded annually in Pennsylvania, with over 6,000 per year in Philadelphia.  Most of arrests (85%) are for possession of small amounts of cannabis.

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