HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — On Wednesday at the Hillsborough County Commission meeting leaders unanimously voted to decriminalize some amounts of marijuana.
There was a public hearing to enact a "Cannabis Ordinance" about the noncriminal possession of marijuana.
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The ordinance allows noncriminal violations to be given for possession of less than 20 grams of weed, rather than face a misdemeanor charge.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said passing the ordinance gives authorities the ability to focus their resources on violent criminals.
“I commend and thank Commissioner Les Miller and all of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners who worked with us to create fair enforcement and less financially burdensome penalties in regards to marijuana possession. Having consistent enforcement all throughout Hillsborough County is vital. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the city of Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City or in Unincorporated Hillsborough County, the same rules will now apply across the board,” said Chronister. “This ordinance allows our Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office to focus our resources on arresting and prosecuting violent offenders.”
Violators can receive up to four citations before they will face a criminal charge. After the third citation, violators are required to undergo drug screening and attend an education or treatment program.