The Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee of the Memphis City Council (which is made up of eight of the council’s 13 members) has voted 5 to 2 to pass an ordinance that would establish a $50 ticket for possession of up to half an ounce of cannabis. The ordinance will now go to the full council, who will put the measure through its first reading on September 6th.
Those who voted in favor of the measure are Councilmembers Martavius Jones, Berlin Boyd, Philip Spinosa Jr., Edmund Ford Jr. and Jamita Swearengen. Those who voted against the proposal are Councilmembers Joe Brown and Janis Fullilove. Committee chairman Worth Morgan abstained from voting.
Under current Memphis law the possession of up to a half ounce of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.
With a population of roughly 650,000, Memphis is the most populated city in Tennessee, and the 20th most populated city in the United States.