PHILADELPHIA - A veteran of the U.S. Marines who is now an advocate for marijuana became the first person Monday to get a ticket under Philadelphia's new law. The citation was arranged in advance between Mike Whiter and the Philadelphia Police Department. At 8 a.m., he lit a joint in the City Hall courtyard and was promptly given a ticket carrying a $100 fine.
The new law makes Philadelphia the largest city in the country to decriminalize small quantities of marijuana. Under the law, possession of an ounce or less gets a $25 fine, while consuming the drug in public is pricier -- $100 plus possible community service.
In an interview with Philadelphia magazine, Whiter said that he has found marijuana is the most effective drug for his PTSD. He is the founder of Pennsylvania Veterans for Medical Marijuana.
"My intention is to point out that Philadelphia finally decriminalized marijuana, that it's the largest city in the country to do so, and I'm here representing veterans who use marijuana for medicine. And we still can't get our medicine legally. I can go out and smoke and get a $100 fine.
"I won't get put in cuffs, but I'm still not going to have legal access to my medicine," he said.
UPI.com/Oct. 20, 2014