The Broward County, Florida County Commission gave approval yesterday to a proposal that would establish an $150 ticket for those caught possessing up to 20 grams of cannabis. The move follows similar moves made in Miami-Dade, Florida’s largest county, as well as Key West, West Palm Beach and Hallandale Beach.
Under the new law, police officers will have the option of issuing a $150 civil citation to someone caught with 20 grams or less of cannabis rather than being legally forced to issue a misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in prison) as the current law stands.
The law allows for a $250 citation for a person’s second offense and a $500 citation for a third offense.
“The reason this is important is because an arrest can ruin people’s lives”, says Broward County Vice Mayor Marty Kiar. T”he vast majority aren’t convicted, yet once arrested a person can lose their job, be denied housing (and) lose their income. Many people who are arrested are working hard to make ends meet, and a civil citation won’t derail their lives.”
The new law goes into effect after 60 days.