Florida’s Largest County Depenalizes Marijuana Possession Offenses

Florida’s Largest County Depenalizes Marijuana Possession Offenses

MIAMI, FL — Police in Florida’s largest county will soon have the option to cite, rather than arrest, minor marijuana offenders.

Commissioners for Miami-Dade county voted 10 to 3 this week in favor of a countywide ordinance to treat marijuana possession offenses involving 20 grams or less as a civil infraction, punishable by a $100 fine — no arrest, no criminal prosecution, no incarceration, and no criminal record. The new ordinance takes effect late next week.

Under state law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. According to an analysis by the ACLU, an estimated 60,000 Floridians are arrested for cannabis possession violations annually — the third highest statewide total in the…

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