The Memphis City Council has done something that I feel is a step in the right direction. Yesterday they voted 7-6 in favor of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. The gist is that a person carrying a half ounce or less of marijuana would receive a citation for a $50 fine or 10 hours of community service.
I believe this is a step in the right direction because usually this type of violation would result in a person going to criminal court, charged with a Class A misdemeanor and being thrown in jail for up to a year. This makes it harder for a person with such a small amount to find decent employment and other vital services due to their criminal record being blemished.
This new ordinance frees up the courts for more serious offenses and also police officers to go out and find the real bad guys. Now I know that marijuana is an illegal substance in the state of Tennessee, but should having a small amount result in a person potentially being in the same court and jail as a person convicted of rape or murder? That's a pretty touchy subject and it's certainly up for debate.
Now before you go riding around with a half ounce of weed, City Court and the MPD are working on how to implement the new ordinance. Also, officers can still charge an offender with a misdemeanor as well. That's basically up to the officer's discretion. Just an FYI.
Shout out to Councilman Berlin Boyd for proposing this new ordinance. We need our elected officials to actually do what we elected them to do....make proposals for change.
What are your thoughts on this new ordinance? Do you think it will have positive or negative results? Drop a comment and let me know what you feel.
Life is for Living,