Memphis Councilman to Offer Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance


A Memphis, Tenn., councilman soon will offer a marijuana decriminalization ordinance similar to one being discussed in Nashville, Tenn., according to an Aug. 17, 2016, article at, the website for News Channel 3.

Representatives of Councilman Berlin Boyd said he will introduce an ordinance that would establish a civil penalty of $50 for possession or exchange of half an ounce of pot or less. Community service could also be a possible way to pay the civil penalty, and charges would not become part of criminal records.

Current Memphis law places a $2,500 fine and the possibility of up to a year in jail for a half-ounce of pot.

Boyd will introduce the ordinance at the Aug. 23, 2016, Public Safety Committee meeting, part of the upcoming City Council meeting.

Boyd said, “[I]t is time to recognize, as has been done in many other municipalities across the country, that bringing individuals into the burdensome and expensive criminal justice system is not commensurate with the crime of possessing a small amount of marijuana.”

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