Tennessee County Grand Jury Calls on State to Legalize Marijuana
The Hamilton County, Tennessee, Grand Jury has recommended that the state’s legislature legalize the possession of marijuana.
“In order to reduce the number of cases heard by the Grand Jury, and reduce the number of cases proceeding to Criminal Court, the State Legislature should consider legalizing the possession of a small amount of marijuana, which is not packaged for resale”, stated Judge Rebecca Stern in a recent report released by the panel.
If politicians in Tennessee take this advice to heart, and legalize marijuana, not only would it free up courts, it would free up police resources and manpower to focus on violent criminals, rather than persecuting people for possessing and consuming a non-lethal plant – this will simultaneously free up prison space, and will bring the state much needed tax revenue, if retail sales are also legalized.
Currently in Tennessee, possessing a half an ounce or less of marijuana is punishable by up to a year in prison – anything over half an ounce is considered distribution, and carries a prison sentence of up to 6 years.