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Marijuana Decriminalization in Philadelphia

Despite last fall’s decision by Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter to decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, Philadelphian’s should not jump to the conclusion that smoking pot is now legal and without negative consequences.

In October 2014, Nutter signed Bill 140377, a marijuana decriminalization bill, downgrading cannabis possession of 30 grams (just over 1 ounce) or less from a criminal to a civil offense. Those caught in possession of 30 grams or less will be fined $25. This bill also eliminates the mandatory arrest for the offense. Those caught using marijuana in public will be fined $100 or be required to perform up to nine hours of community service.

Decriminalization isn’t legalization, it does not permit the use marijuana with impunity. Also, this new law only impacts those within the city of Philadelphia. Under Pennsylvania law, an individual arrested for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana can still be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail and fined up to $500.

If you have been charged with a drug crime like possession of marijuana, there are steps you should take understand the situation and protect your legal rights.

Laws are constantly changing. An experienced criminal defense attorney like Marc Neff is aware of these changes. To schedule a confidential consultation contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff by phone at (215) 563-9800 or by email at