In a unanimous voice vote, the Nashville Metro City Council has voted to pass an ordinance to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis. This second reading vote comes roughly three weeks after the council voted 32 to 4 to pass the measure through its first reading. It will receive a final vote on September 20th.
“There’s a large criminal justice reform conversation going on now and there’s a large national conversation that is changing around this particular issue,” says Councilmember Russ Pulley, a co-sponsor of the legislation. “This gets us involved in that conversation”.
Once passed into law, the possession of up to a half an ounce of cannabis will be reduced to a simple $50 civil penalty (which can be paid through 10 hours community service). Under current law the possession of even one gram of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.
Nashville is the capital of Tennessee with a population of around 630,000.