KQV AM 1410

Oct 20, 2:35 PM EDT

Philadelphia now has reduced marijuana penalties

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A law allowing police in Philadelphia to ticket people for possession of small amounts of marijuana rather than arresting them has gone into effect.

While possession of marijuana remains illegal in the city, having up to 30 grams, or a little more than an ounce, will result in a citation and a $25 fine.

Public use of small amounts of marijuana will garner the stiffer penalty of a citation along with a $100 fine or up to nine hours of community service.

The legislation was signed by Mayor Michael Nutter on Oct. 1 and went into effect Monday, months after a previous version of the law was passed by the City Council.

Advocates compare the citations to parking tickets and say the change will prevent violators from having arrest records.

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