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Tampa decriminalizes small amounts of weed

Posted at 12:18 PM, Mar 17, 2016
Leaders in Tampa have approved an ordinance to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
 
The makes 20 grams or less of marijuana a civil citation with a $75 fine instead of a criminal charge.  The fines increase with every citation-- $150 for a second offense, $300 for a third and $450 for each additional offense.
 
The ordinance passed in a 5-1 vote.
 
Currently, city attorneys say a person caught having 20-grams or less of marijuana is arrested and put into the criminal justice system.  The violation could also mean jail time for the offender. 
 
The ordinance now goes to Mayor Bob Buckhorn for his signature.  
 
Last month, Buckhorn and Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward told Action News they supports the measure.  
 
It is unknown when the ordinance will take effect.