Published On: Thu, Feb 5th, 2015

Philly Mayor Candidate Abraham Flip-Flops on Pot Legalization

Abraham said she supported the "decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal use."

Lynne Abraham

A recent entrant in the mayoral race for Philadelphia, former City Councilman and marijuana legalization proponent Jim Kenney, is grabbing attention by saying former DA Lynne Abraham has “flip-flopped” on the pot issue. Kenney is trailing most of the other contenders, with Lynn Abraham out in front, but he managed to portray her as inconsistent on the legality of pot.

On January 5, as reported by Philadelphia Magazine’s blog, Abraham said, “I’m already on the record about the decriminalization of marijuana. I’m against it, especially for kids.” She called pro-pot legislation Kenney had supported, “illegal, ” “fake” and a “feel-good ordinance.” as reported by

However, on primary Tuesday, Abraham said she supported the “decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” To forestall accusations of flip-flopping, a spokesperson for Abraham said, “Abraham’s campaign … acknowledges that she has shifted her stance on the issue due to conversations she has had since November with ‘numerous health experts, civic organizations, community leaders and many others knowledgeable and impacted by marijuana issues in our city.”

So we are encouraged to accept Lynne Abraham made an informed decision and did not switch her position on the issue due to political expediency. Two questions remain: couldn’t her years as District Attorney have given her sufficient information and contacts to provide her with meaningful conversations on this issue until now? Secondly, the statement said she has been “researching” this issue since November, but her shift in position occurred between January and February. If she was on the fence in January, she should have said so.

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