TN: Trend Of Decriminalizing Marijuana May Come To The Tri-Cities

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Johnson City, Tenn. – While larger cities in Tennessee are looking at officially de-criminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, authorities said, in many aspects, that’s already the norm in Johnson City.

On Tuesday, the greater Nashville Metropolitan Council is set to take a final vote on it.

And city leaders in Memphis are also taking steps toward lowering the penalty for possession.

While Tennessee cities move toward decriminalizing possession of a small amount of marijuana, local authorities anticipate a trend.

Tony Clark, District Attorney, said, “I do see a trend, not only West Tennessee but from the West Coast on partially de-criminalizing marijuana.”

Clark said even though possession of marijuana is a class a misdemeanor, it is not necessarily a conviction, on its own, that sends most people to jail.

For Johnson City Police Dept., that’s usually the case.

Chief Sirois, said, “That is one half ounce or less and if there are no other extenuating circumstances then we typically will write a citation.”

The police chief said his officers do encounter a lot of what’s called simple possession, or possession of a small amount.

“We write a number of citations each year for simple possession or casual exchange,” said Chief Sirois.

The ordinance that Nashville and Memphis are considering would have police who discover such violators simply issue a citation that carries a $50 fine or community service. That’s opposed what a misdemeanor conviction carries, which is up to a year in jail.

“We’re the ones that have to handle this on the front line and as far as marijuana itself, we don’t see that many people going to jail on simple possess of marijuana,” Clark said.

Memphis will take up the issue on October 4th.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Trend Of Decriminalizing Marijuana May Come To The Tri-Cities
Author: Courtney Lester
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Website: WCYB