After a prolonged debate by the Memphis City Council, Tennessee’s second city has successfully reduced their overly burdensome penalty on the personal possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana.
According to the Memphis Flyer, it’s all thanks to City Council member, Berlin Boyd. After having an epiphany that would save both taxpayer dollars and free up their local police force to deal with real crimes, Mr. Boyd offered an alternative to their current penalties during an August City Council meeting.
Now passed, the new ordinance will allow officers within the Memphis Police Department to utilize personal discretion, and offer an alternative option to the old penalties – jail and a massive fine.
“Under the proposal, MPD officers could write the offender a $50 ticket from the city or they could enforce existing state rules on possession, a misdemeanor charge that comes with the possibility of up to a year in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine.”
Joining the Nashville City Council in their progressive retooling of personal marijuana possession penalties, the Memphis City Council members understood this was not an attempt to decriminalize marijuana but rather an endeavor to create a common sense penalty for those busted with less than a half ounce of pot.
Calling the vote a game of “political kickball,” council member Janis Fullilove seemed more than a little dejected by the ultimate outcome.
Fear of a Legalized Market: Delusional and ignorant, Fullilove insinuated that actions, like those taken by the Memphis City Council, potentially motivate those within the marijuana industry to spread their sphere of influence. Claiming the change encourages “the greedy to become even greedier and the powerful and the wealthy to become even more powerful,” rather than understanding this common sense update to an archaic law simply protects those who choose to relax by getting introspective and “high” on weed, rather than sloppy drunk on booze.
Proud of his recent accomplishment, Councilman Boyd explained his motivations were pure and simple.
“It is time to recognize, as has been done in many other municipalities across the country, that bringing individuals into the burdensome and expensive criminal justice system is not commensurate with the crime of possessing a small amount of marijuana.”
Feigning concern over the recent progress for Tennessee pot smokers, the director of the Memphis Police Department instructed one of his officers to roll as many joints as possible. After twisting up 37 pinners from their half-ounce of stash, some within the MPD are now worried a half-ounce is an excessive amount of pot to call personal.
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