Big Change In Philly Pot Policy

Good news, not just for stoners, but for Philadelphia taxpayers. And we’re already seeing real change with our new DA:

The city’s new district attorney and the state Supreme Court are moving to all but decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use in an effort to unclog Philadelphia’s crowded court dockets.

Under a policy to take effect later this month, prosecutors will charge such cases as summary offenses rather than as misdemeanors. People arrested with up to 30 grams of the drug – slightly more than an ounce – may have to pay a fine but face no risk of a criminal record.

“We have to be smart on crime,” said District Attorney Seth Williams, who took office in January. “We can’t declare a war on drugs by going after the kid who’s smoking a joint on 55th Street. We have to go after the large traffickers.”

The shift is a major move in a reform agenda being hammered out in an unusual partnership between Williams and two members of the state Supreme Court, Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, each of whom has a long background in criminal justice.

The goal is to sweep about 3,000 small-time marijuana cases annually out of the main court system, freeing prosecutors and judges to devote time to more serious crimes. The diverted cases amount to about 5 percent of the caseload in criminal court.

Police have been briefed on the policy shift, but appear less than enthusiastic about it.

“We’re not going stop locking people up,” Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, said Friday. He said marijuana possession remained illegal.

Free Health Care for the Poor

It’s so simple when you want it to be, you know?

Peru has announced a new health-care plan to ensure free medical facilities for the poor in the country.

President Alan Garcia issued a decree to enact a new health-care law which seeks to ensure that free high-quality medical treatment is available to the poorest of society.

Under the new regulation announced Friday, the entire population will be able to get health benefits on the basis of three categories – contributory, semi-contributory and subsidised.

Government employees, retired people and professionals will fall under ‘contributory’ category, while people living in extreme poverty will be under ‘subsidised’ group and thereby be entitled to avail all the health-care benefits.

Baby Let’s Swing

This is a rare version of the song Todd Rundgren wrote about Laura Nyro, who he cites as a major influence (this is the one that was actually released). She also had a long-term affair with Jackson Browne, who wrote “That Girl Could Sing” about her:

Pride (In The Name of Love)

Americans are such innocents, aren’t we? That we never connected the dots on these assassinations (and on so many other things)…

This is the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death. Thanks to MB for reminding me.

Timer

You’re a jigsaw, Timer/God is a Jigsaw, Timer.

Laura Nyro from her brilliant album, “Eli & The 13th Confession”:

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