The law relaxing punishments for marijuana possession in Philadelphia went into effect Monday -- a little more than two weeks after Mayor Michael Nutter approved the legislation.
Police will issue anyone caught with 30 grams, or one ounce, of marijuana with a $25 fine.
"Those that are using marijuana...will be issued a notice of violation in the amount of $100," said Philadelphia Police Lt. John Sanford. Authorities could also require up to nine hours of community service for public consumption of marijuana.
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The bill, which was sponsored by Councilman Jim Kenney, does not legalize marijuana -- instead it eases the punishments offenders will face and lessens the burden on law enforcement.
"Under this policy, police officers will be able to remain focused on more serious offenses," Kenney said in September. "And many young people will be spared the life-altering consequences of a criminal record, such as limited job prospects, inability to obtain student loans or even join the armed services."
Nutter also promised an outreach campaign to educate the public on the city's new regulations.