Commissioners of Miami-Dade, Florida’s largest county (with a population of over 2.6 million), have voted to allow police to give a simple civil infraction for the possession of cannabis rather than arresting and charging them.
Under current law, the possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor which carries with it a potential year long prison sentence. The new law, approved 10 to 3, gives police the option of issuing an $100 civil infraction for those caught possessing no more than 20 grams. This would mean the individual would not be arrested or charged with a crime.
“We have better things to do with our police resources,” says Commissioner Sally Heyman. “For goodness’ sakes, we don’t have to destroy the lives of so many.”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he supports the bill, calling it “good, common sense”, and police helped draft it.
The measure goes into effect 10 days from now.