St. Pete ponders civil citations for marijuana possession

AP file photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – A St. Petersburg City Council committee asked the county to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, but also authorized city attorneys to draft a municipal ordinance in case the county doesn’t act.

The Tampa Bay Times reports council member Steve Kornell, a school guidance counselor, proposed the city ordinance Thursday.

His proposal would allow police to give a ticket with a fine to someone possessing 20 grams or less of marijuana –about 3/4 of an ounce.

St. Petersburg Police Department attorney Sasha Lohn-McDermott recommended that any civil citation program be a countywide ordinance with “teeth” that allows police to collect data on offenders and sets deadlines for fines to be paid.

Miami-Dade, Miami Beach, Fernandina Beach and Hallandale Beach have implemented civil citation programs this year.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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