A 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.