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Sarasota leaders move forward on decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana

Violators would be fined vs jail time
Posted at 12:40 PM, Mar 18, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. — Sarasota City Council passed a measure to move forward on decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana Monday evening.

The measure passed 5-0, which means the city attorney will write up an ordinance and bring it back to city council for a vote.

Commissioner Hagen Brody proposed the ordinance during a meeting Monday night at City Hall.

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"It is a step in the right direction to move toward a smarter justice platform one that focuses on the most serious and violent crime in the area and frees up an officer's ability to focus on that,” said Brody.

He said police officers would be able to issue a small fine for those caught with less than twenty grams of marijuana versus taking them to jail.

“This is a civil citation option that allows the offender to deal with it in the same manner they would deal with a parking ticket.” said Brody.

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Other Florida cities, including, Tampa have taken similar measures to deal with those caught with small amounts of marijuana.