key west florida marijuana
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Key West, Florida Votes To Decriminalize Marijuana

key west florida marijuanaThere is a growing trend in Florida. Local governments are voting to decriminalize marijuana. Florida lawmakers may not be willing to step up and decriminalize marijuana, but that hasn’t stopped local governments in Southeastern Florida from taking matters into their own hands. Key West, Florida is the latest local government to decriminalize marijuana. Per The Joint Blog:

The Key West, Florida City Commission has voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that would establish an $100 ticket for the possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis. Similar proposals were approved recently in Miami-Dade, Florida’s largest county, and in Miami Beach.

Under the proposed ordinance, which will be given one final vote on September 1st before becoming law, police will have the option of issuing a $100 fine to those caught possessing no more than 20 grams of cannabis, rather than arresting and prosecuting them. Under current law, the possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis is a guaranteed misdemeanor which can result in a year-long prison sentence.

I read a study (about Philadelphia decriminalizing marijuana) that found that arresting someone for marijuana costs law enforcement agencies an average of $1,250. To write someone a ticket costs $20. Decriminalization is obviously not as good as outright legalization, but it’s certainly better than charging people with a crime. This is a great move by Key West, Florida, and I hope that more communities will continue this trend in Florida.

  • Kajira M

    It says police will have the option to write a ticket or arrest the person…so the police can still choose to arrest people. I must be missing something???

    • Sarijuana

      Yup, they can, but are not likely to arrest since it costs the community too much to prosecute. They decriminalized cannabis in Santa Fe, and since they didn’t have the correct citations to issue yet, some police still arrested, but others just utilized traffic tickets. The ones who were still arresting people heard about it from the courts. They said, cut it out.

      • 2buds4me

        That sounds awesome. Courts telling cops to cut it out. Coming from someone they should respect.

        • Gee Elga Marly

          letting a cop decide my fate is not realistic its either legal or its not. If im black i go to jail if the cop knows your family you don’t go to jail. Its time , Its been time and we american citizens aren’t going to do no more mofo time. i wouldnt go to colorado for a shot of vodka , so why should i have to go there to vape? why should i have to go to LA to get medicine. why should I b arrested for taking my med in another state? If im perscribed oxycotin for pain i can take it across state line with my script in tact . Why can’t i take my medical mj across state line if i have a legal script ? AS I SAID BEFORE, ITS TIME ITS BEEN TIME AND WE AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE NO LONGER GOING TO DO MOFO TIME.

    • Jetdoc

      It means you better NOT be an ASSHOLE if you’re caught with it by a cop. :-D Be nice, hold your breath, take the ticket and walk away. ;-)

      • 2buds4me

        Thank you sir – may I have another

  • Acidsex

    Police have the option of arresting or ticketing. Which will make their departments more money? I would almost bet that if the jails are occupied, tickets will be the choice. If jail beds are empty, that’s where you are headed. This isn’t really full decriminalization like other places where you get a ticket and that’s it. People will still get arrested in Key West and charges will still show up.

    As for the costs of prosecution, I don’t believe that number is anywhere correct. The officer who makes the arrest is already getting paid by the hour whether or not he arrests someone. Most jails assess a fee for your time in jail. The prosecutor and judge are salaried employees and get paid whether or not are involved in a case. Last, most that are convicted are assessed court costs in addition to any fine they receive.

    Also of note, 20 grams is so random in Florida. How the hell is someone supposed to know if they have under 20 grams? Unless they have a scale and under Florida law, possession of such in conjunction with a controlled substance is supposed evidence of trafficking.

  • HCV

    it’s on the table for discussion / vote in Sept. for Palm Beach Fl. & Daytona / Volusia is also reviewing suggestions for their next meeting. It’s spreading northward. Discussions are taking place in all the major metro areas, either in the open or at lunch, these local Councilmen are talking as we speak.
    Gov. Scott and A. G. Bondi have not voiced any opposition or waded in so far. Also the Gainesville council have cut the sheriff budget over what is known in legalese as “De minimus non curat lex” arrests. Told that if they don’t lighten up, the council will Decrim. Sheriff responed, “I can’t change the law, you can”, “Just change the law”. I foresee Gainesville, a collage town, changing very soon
    As I sit behind the “Marijuana Berlin Wall” here in the South, I’ll take what I can get. I’m 65 with Hep C, I can not wait until politician’s in Fl. make it so by 2020 after all their bureaucratic nonsense. Sativex will be available long before MMJ. Trying to get into a Sativex trial, (if known please post). Tried to get Sativex through Canada to no avail. Only in NYC with the M S patient underground have I been able to try it, works fine for me. In Florida we’ll get Sativex long before we get MMJ
    If Tallahassee would only make this Decriminalization State wide, a lot of nonsense would subside. And they can try (in their mind) to cut off any movement at the voting box. All they do is play chess with peoples lives. Notice I said I’ll take what I can get in the Decrim. scenario. Because of Florida’s Magna Carter Doctoral way of doing things. Tallahassee moves at the same speed that the continents are moving apart, so 2020 appears a reality. If I could get Sativex now, I would in a New York minute, but that just me, I don’t need much and not looking to get blitz out. I’m in it for the medicinal side of it.
    Re; the police, It’s not so much in the cost of man power / court administrative hours. It is the loss of these hours to these arrests. These hours can and will be diverted to the Meth / Coke, Heroin and any other under the sink concoctions of Synthetics which are rampant throughout Florida and the country. Also synthetics and other drugs have been found in the busted marijuana suppliers mix. I good friend of mine 67 was taken by ambulance to the hospital, later to fine that his stash was mixed with a meth like substance, he could have died and marijuana would have been blamed for it.
    But for some odd reason, this does not happen so much in MMJ states. One must wonder why.
    As Police guidelines are being written in this area of decrim. Most include, not DUI, not being stupid after 5 pm, if you public stoned and stupid, no priors, no warrants, not used in public, not in front of kids, does not upset the neighbors, no selling, etc., etc.,. But remember if you have been issued a citation before you may go for a ride in that car with the lights all around it. Some are also looking at a escalating fine structure.
    Like I said before,, at this point I’ll take what I can get in Decriminalization or Sativex.

  • PatrickMonkRn

    Charlotte’s Web of Deceit.

  • kbeth

    Baby steps are good but the closer states get the more impatient I am. Decriminalization seems like such a waste of time and resources and at the cost of weed, there are better things to spend that money on. Rather than raising money through petty fines just legalize it and tax it. Florida came so close to making some changes in the last election and if they hadn’t raised the bar to 60% it would have passed easily. I live next door to Fla. and my state won’t legalize until most of the other states do, even decriminalization would be better but I am 65 and would love to smoke legally before I die.

    • BuckeyeB

      It’s gonna be on the ballot in Ohio…if it passes we’re partying on my back porch ’til the cows stumble home, & you have a standing invite! Good to ‘see’ you, karen…

      • kbeth

        Go Ohio!! Would love to party with you in celebration. It’s good to see you too. I was thinking a lot about old friends last night as I drank a glass of wine and smoked a joint in honor of NIck. It’s a sad day.

  • Allen Lambe

    I have lived in both Florida and Colorado many years and one significant difference was Colorado always had decriminalization ever since I was there and it made people way less paranoid, Furthermore if you do everything right and don’t consent to a search ect. it cost them more to try the case than the $100 that they will get out of it if they win which they probably wont and if the defendant loses they still are only out $100. It really gives activism
    a hand up.

  • Jose

    is it called stink weed cause you have to hide it in the crack of your ass?