Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams estimates that the city has saved an estimated $2 million since his office decided to prosecute certain marijuana possession cases as a summary offense, rather than misdemeanors.
Williams instituted the Small Amount of Marijuana (SAM) program in June 2010, which allows offenders with less than 30 grams of marijuana topay $200 for a 3-hour class on drug abuse.
Prior to the SAM program, offenders faced 30 days’ probation or jail time and a $500 fine.
“We were spending thousands of dollars for when someone possessed $10 or $15 worth of weed,” Williams said of the way marijuana cases were prosecuted when he was elected. “It just didn’t make any sense.”