Following in the steps of Tampa and Volusia County, Orlando city officials are considering a measure that would decriminalize the possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana, making it a violation of city code.
The Orlando Sentinel
reports both Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando Police Chief John Mina support the measure.
"I think, in this day and age, giving somebody a second chance … without establishing a criminal record helps improve their opportunities in the future," Dyer tells the Sentinel
The City Council will consider the ordinance at its next meeting on April 18. The proposed measure would allow police officers to issue civil citations instead of arresting people. The civil penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana could range from a $50 fine to a mandated court hearing, depending on the classification of the violation.
"The City Council of the City of Orlando, Florida hereby finds that existing criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and for the possession of drug paraphernalia used to administer marijuana, are often disproportionate to the severity of the offense," the proposed measure says. "The Orlando City Council hereby finds that civil penalties and procedures may be more commensurate with any social harm caused by the possession of small amounts of marijuana or the possession of marijuana paraphernalia."
Read the rest of the proposed measure below.