Pennsylvania Bill Decriminalizing Small Marijuana Amounts Moves Forward

PENNSYLVANIA:  Over the objections of the mayor, a Philadelphia City Council committee today approved a bill that completely decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The bill, authored by Councilman Jim Kenney, would make possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana — about an ounce — a simple “code violation,” punishable only by a $25 fine.

While a police officer would issue the violation notice, the courts would no longer be involved, and the fine would be paid to the city in the same manner as a speeding ticket. Officers would still have the discretion to arrest.

Kenney said this would save police and the courts millions of dollars each year, and would spare teens from having life-altering arrest records.

Can Marijuana Make John Hanger Governor?

PENNSYLVANIA:  John Hanger might not be the first guy you’d think of to be the “pot candidate” in this year’s Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign: He’s a Penn Law grad who has held several reasonably high-profile state posts during his career.

Still, it’s Hanger’s aggressive pro-legalization stance that has come to define his candidacy. He both embraces that distinction — believing it might get him the numbers to win the Democratic primary — and eschews it, saying that he’s got plans and proposals to address a host of issues afflicting the state.

Talk to him, and you might find yourself suspecting Hanger could benefit from a toke or two. He can be frenetic in conversation, packing thousands of words and many ideas into a compact space, as though he were racing to beat an invisible timer. And that’s when he’s focused on the conversation — he interrupted his phone call with Philly Mag last week to do campaign business, offering buttons and bumper stickers to supporters. “We’re going to knock those elites out of office,” he promised. [Read more…]

Can Marijuana Make John Hanger Governor?

PENNSYLVANIA:  John Hanger might not be the first guy you’d think of to be the “pot candidate” in this year’s Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign: He’s a Penn Law grad who has held several reasonably high-profile state posts during his career.

Still, it’s Hanger’s aggressive pro-legalization stance that has come to define his candidacy. He both embraces that distinction — believing it might get him the numbers to win the Democratic primary — and eschews it, saying that he’s got plans and proposals to address a host of issues afflicting the state.

Talk to him, and you might find yourself suspecting Hanger could benefit from a toke or two. He can be frenetic in conversation, packing thousands of words and many ideas into a compact space, as though he were racing to beat an invisible timer. And that’s when he’s focused on the conversation — he interrupted his phone call with Philly Mag last week to do campaign business, offering buttons and bumper stickers to supporters. “We’re going to knock those elites out of office,” he promised. [Read more…]