Arrests after Philly police raid pot party: ‘Marijuana is still illegal’

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Philadelphia police conducted a raid of a marijuana meet-up in a Frankford warehouse Saturday night around 9 p.m., according to sources and media reports.

The event, which took place in a warehouse on the 4500 block of Worth Street, was publicly organized on Instagram by Philly Smoke Session, which was charging $50 per person to attend the event.

Sources who were at the party say that about 75 people were detained by police, and that as many as 11 were arrested, including libertarian candidate for mayor and pot activist N.A. Poe, whose real name is Rich Tamaccio. A number of vendors who were selling marijuana-infused products were also arrested, though the exact number is currently unknown. 

Sources also say that several attendees had chronic medical conditions, but were unable to obtain medical marijuana elsewhere.

As of early Sunday morning, police haven’t released any information about the raid, including the number of people detained and arrested. 

Among those detained by police was columnist Chris Goldstein, who tweeted about the raid as it was happening.

Philadelphia Magazine reporter Victor Fiorillo was also at the meet-up, though he says he left 30 minutes before police arrived. In a column posted overnight, Poe told Fiorillo that he sold about 300 tickets to the event, and that vendor tables were going for $400 each.

“I was invited by Poe to check out the party, and I was planning on writing about it at some point,” Fiorillo wrote. “Just not like this.”

Philadelphia decriminalized marijuana back in October of 2014. Currently, possession of 30 grams (about an ounce) or less of marijuana is only considered a civil offense. The fine for carrying is $25, while the fine for smoke in public currently stands at $100 or up to nine hours of community service. The sale of marijuana or marijuana products was not decriminalized. 

This is a breaking news report. Check back for updates. Staff Writer Sam Wood contributed to this report. 

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