By Kenneth Lipp
In a retort to less than supportive responses from city administration and public safety officials, local advocates supporting Councilman Jim Kenney’s multiple attempts to change the Philadelphia Police policy of mandatory arrest for possession of small (less than 30 grams) of marijuana, in favor of a civil penalty, have issued what they call a Public Service Announcement on the issue. The latest iteration of Kenney’s bill, which passed the City Council with a super-majority in June, is scheduled for Mayor Michael’s Nutter’s desk in September (if Nutter refuses to sign, the bill’s majority support indicate a likelihood his veto would be overridden), and the mayor has promised a statement on the bill will be made September 10th.
The video, produced at Scrapple Networks (a NoLibs film and television outfit that specializes in being awesome and bizarrely sexy), is not kind to Mayor Nutter, and Nutter has made himself no friend of drug law reformers. In a cavalier dismissal of the civil rights and racial disparity issues associated with marijuana arrests cited by the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations, as well as the City Council in its 14-2 passage of the bill, the Mayor has minimized the importance of decriminalization and called the Council’s bill “simplistic.”
Poe, the speaker in the video who has worked with several organizations but tells me this video is a personal project undertaken by “a concerned citizen,” highlights these issues, before calling for a march at 1 PM September 6th, from the Liberty Bell to City Hall.
It would be nice to end up on the right side of history. Watch the video, it’s funny.