"I absolutely, totally disagree that our jails are filled with people who are low-level marijuana possessors," she said.Abraham is out of touch and would roll back evidence-based policies that have started to ease overcrowding in city jails and criminal court dockets.
Not true. Going back to the UCRS data from 2005-2009, when Abraham was D.A., there were 19,766 adults arrested for less than 30 grams of cannabis. That is an average of 13 people per day. Every single one was put into handcuffs and put into a Philadelphia holding cell. Before the SAM program was instituted in 2010 by Seth Williams, every one of these adults also had to make bail and many couldn't. That meant they could spend up to 48 to 72 (or more) hours in jail before arraignment. Then all of these offenders were brought into criminal court. Most were convicted and ended up with life-damaging permanent records.
So, in a nutshell, when Lynne was D.A., city jails had plenty of marijuana smokers taking up space, time and city resources. If she is so proud of taking a hard line against weed, why dissemble about throwing cannabis consumers in jail?
|Title card from Lynne Abraham's favorite drug-enforcement policy educational film.|