Progressive Democrat Larry Krasner was sworn in as Philadelphia's district attorney on January 2, and he's wasted no time in making significant changes to the office.
At a press conference this Thursday, Krasner announced that marijuana possession charges against 51 people would be dropped. As NBC 10 reports, Krasner said, "we are going to tell them, yes, drop any cases that are simply marijuana possession." This deepens an existing policy where Philadelphia police were authorized to issue citations for possession instead of arresting people. Under those rules, 90 percent of possession cases previously ended with a citation, whereas the new approach will bring that closer to 100 percent.
"I did it because I felt it was the right thing to do," Krasner said. "We could use those resources to solve homicides."
Additionally, Krasner announced this week that his office had filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies that produce opioids. The suit was filed February 2nd, but the announcement was delayed until excitement around the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl win had died down. Another lawsuit had previously been filed by the city of Philadelphia in mid-January. Krasner stated that his lawsuit complimented the city's.
Moreover, according to Krasner, the two initiatives are related: “There’s a direct relation between reducing opioids and opiate deaths and making marijuana available,” he said.
Krasner ran for district attorney on a progressive platform based on four principles: Ending mass incarceration, focusing on serious crime, standing up for rights and liberties, and resisting the Trump administration.
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