Nashville Could Decriminalize Possession or Exchange of a Half-Ounce of Pot


Some city officials in Nashville, Tenn., the country music capital of the world, are considering the decriminalization of a half-ounce or less of marijuana, according to an Aug. 10, 2016, article in The Tennessean. A proposed ordinance would apply decriminalization to the amount whether it is possessed or exchanged.

“This would allow the police to just write a ticket,” Councilman Dave Rosenberg said.

Sean Braisted, press secretary for Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, said, “[T]he mayor is still reviewing the proposed ordinance and its implications but is generally supportive of efforts to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and looks forward to hearing more about this specific proposal.”

The police department is opposed to the ordinance, at least as it is worded now.

“There are situations where discretion is needed for law enforcement purposes,” police spokesman Don Aaron said. “There may be circumstances where an officer needs to keep something in the criminal realm.”

But Rosenberg said he is concerned because some people are stuck with lifelong criminal records due to a youthful mistake with marijuana.

“It’s very unproductive,” he said. “This has been an issue that has been moving nationwide from Florida to Washington as our society has come to understand that the most harmful effect of marijuana is marijuana laws.”

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