Philly City Council Amends Marijuana Bill

Philadelphia leaders agreed to amend the language of a bill decriminalizing marijuana Thursday during City Council's first meeting after summer break.

Originally introduced by Councilman Jim Kenney, the bill will decriminalize the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana within city limits.

"This bill will not legalize marijuana," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. "We want to ensure that the punishment for using or possessing small amounts of marijuana is commensurate with the severity of the crime while giving police officers the tools they need to protech the health and well-being of all Philadelphians."

The new law means anyone found in possession of 30 grams of marijuana or less will receive a $25 fine and anyone found smoking 30 grams of marijuana or less will receive a $100 fine and must complete as many as nine hours of community service.

 Police officers will confiscate any remaining amounts of the drug that they find.

Once passed by City Council and signed by Nutter, the ordinace will go into effect Oct. 20.

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