Cannabis Decriminalization Proposal Approved by Tampa City Council, Heads to Supportive Mayor

cannabis24A proposal to decriminalize cannabis possession has been given final approval by Tampa, Florida’s City Council. The vote was 5 to 1, sending the measure to the city’s supportive Mayor, Bob Buckhorn; the city’s police chief is also in support of the move.

Under the proposed law, those caught possessing up to 20 grams of cannabis will be issued, at most, a $75 citation for a first offense, an $150 citation for their second offense, and a $300 citation for any subsequent offense; no number of offenses will result in jailtime or a criminal record. Under current law, the possession of even a miniscule amount of cannabis can result in a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

“What we’re attempting to do is put a stop to that pipeline to prison that affect so many of our young people, especially our young people of color,” says Councilwoman Lisa Montelione.

Tampa, with a population of around 300,000, is the 53rd most populated city in the United States.

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