FLORIDA: Miami-Dade commissioners voted Tuesday to let police treat marijuana possession the same way they do littering and loitering — issuing a civil citation with a $100 fine that keeps the offense out of the criminal system.
“We have better things to do with our police resources,” said Commissioner Sally Heyman, sponsor of the ordinance. “For goodness’ sakes, we don’t have to destroy the lives of so many.”
The change in county code passed 10-3, marking a milestone in how Florida’s largest local government treats marijuana offenses. The new ordinance gives police officers the option of either charging pot possession as a criminal misdemeanor or as a civil offense — which brings a fine but no criminal record — for possession of 20 grams or less, enough for about three dozen joints.