Lawmakers in West Palm Beach, Florida have unanimously given approval to legislation that will establish an $100 ticket for the possession of small amounts of cannabis. Similar proposals were approved recently in Miami-Dade, Florida’s largest county, in Miami Beach and in Key West.
Under the new law, police who catch someone in possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis will have the option of issuing them an $100 fine, rather than arresting and prosecuting them. Under current law, the possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis is a guaranteed misdemeanor which can result in a year-long prison sentence.
Advocates of the measure argued that it would save the city tens of thousands of dollars in reduced enforcement costs, while freeing up prison space.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there is just under 100,000 people living in West Palm Beach.