Miami-Dade County Commission passes marijuana ordinance

Citations, fines to be issued in lieu of arrest for marijuana possession

MIAMI – Miami-Dade County commissioners passed an ordinance Tuesday that only requires police to issue citations for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The ordinance applies to those caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana.

The violators would be issued a $100 fine or community service.

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"We have thousands and thousands of people brought into the criminal justice system for nonviolent misdemeanors that destroy their options for the future," Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman said when the ordinance was proposed earlier this month.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine spoke in favor of the ordinance after a previous commission meeting.


Eighths = 3.5 grams

Quarter = 2 eighths = 7 grams

Half = 2 quarters = 4 eighths = 14 grams

Ounce = 4 quarters = 8 eighths = 28 grams

SOURCE: Mary Janes Diary

"We don't want marijuana smoking on the streets. That's still illegal," Levine told Local 10 News. "It's illegal to distribute or sell any marijuana or anything like that. But if someone's caught with under 20 grams, we don't want to ruin their lives."

Commissioners voted 10-3 in favor of the ordinance Tuesday. The ordinance will go in effect July 10,  10 days after the June 30th vote.

Miami-Dade commissioners Rebeca Sosa, Estaban Bovo and Javier Souto were the only three commissioners who voted against the ordinance.

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