The City of Jacksonville, Florida could join a growing list of cities around the country that have embraced a more pragmatic approach for dealing with marijuana-related offenses on the local level. Currently more than a dozen Florida municipalities have decriminalized the possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana including: Alachua County, Broward County, Cocoa Beach, Hallandale Beach, Key West, Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, Orlando, Osceola County, Palm Beach County, Port Richey, Tampa, Volusia County, and West Palm Beach County.
Citing concerns about the collateral consequences of a marijuana charge and the disproportionate impact marijuana prohibition continues to have on communities of color, Council Member Garrett Dennis recently introduced the, “Jacksonville Civil Citation for Small Quantity Marijuana Possession Ordinance.” If approved, the ordinance would impose a $100 fine for possessing 20 grams or less of marijuana instead of jail time.
“During my reelection campaign, I spoke to many citizens whose lives were thrown into a downward spiral due to possessing minimal amounts of marijuana. Families were in debt because of legal issues, loss of employment or the inability to secure gainful employment; based on these misdemeanor arrests,” said Council Member Dennis.
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To support this effort, Council Member Dennis has announced a series of community meetings. Each meeting is free to attend and open to the public.
Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: South Mandarin Library, 12125 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32223
Date: Monday, July 29, 2019
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Bennie Furlong Senior Center, 281 19th Ave S, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Legends Center, 5130 Soutel Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32208
Date: Monday, August 5, 2019
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Webb Wesconnett Library, 6887 103rd Street, Jacksonville, FL 32210