orlando marijuana
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Orlando City Council To Hold Final Vote On Marijuana Decriminalization Today

orlando marijuana
(image via Wikipedia)

Marijuana decriminalization is spreading across Florida, with more and more municipalities reforming marijuana laws at the local level. Arresting people for marijuana possession is a massive waste of taxpayer dollars, and more local governments in Florida are realizing that. Orlando is the latest city in Florida to take up the issue. As luck would have it, I am currently in Orlando celebrating my birthday (yesterday). There is a final Orlando City Council vote on marijuana decriminalization tonight, and I may just have to swing by to see the vote occur live. Per WFTV:

Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the plan last week; instead of being arrested, the first violation would mean a $50 fine.

Currently, possessing less than 20 grams of pot is a criminal misdemeanor and carries a punishment of up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.

But under the proposed change, the penalties would increase with repeated violations; a second violation doubles the fine, while a court appearance is required on a third offense.

I don’t know exactly how much an arrest costs in Orlando, but I have seen estimates in other areas at between $1,200 and $1,700 per arrest for marijuana. For an officer to write a ticket, and to have a government employee process it, it costs just $20. That’s how cities like Philadelphia saved over one million dollars in the first year that decriminalization took effect there. That’s one million more dollars that can go to parks and schools, and that many more officer hours that can be spent fighting real crime. Hopefully Orlando votes to make a similar public policy change.

  • Closet Warrior

    Baby steps are better than just sitting there w/your thumb up your ass! Still not enough though.

  • TheSinnedAngel

    it’s Florida… there is always an ulterior motive.

    In this case, they want to deflate the enthusiasm for the #YesOn2 ballot amendment which will permit true medical cannabis availability.

    I’m sure Sheldon and his anti-MJ-gang are already working on the media blitz that will emphasize: “we don’t need a legalization amendment, we’ve already decriminalized it”..
    .. sadly, that sort of mind fu_ck works on most of the conservative retirees here.

    Florida is totally under the thumb of the politicians.
    They are “mining” the wealth of the last generation who actually got some benefits after working in the old system.
    The politicos are not about to let loose of that golden egg.

    sorry for the rant.. it’s just such a total blatant ripoff.

    The Sinned Angel

    • DeeperDish

      This movement by cities and counties to decriminalize marijuana will help sway more voters to feel more confident in voting for medical marijuana.

      • TheSinnedAngel

        I read it takes effect in Oct..
        ..just in time to spin it for the election.
        ??

        I’ve just seen too much corruption in Florida to think they ever have any other motive.

        They “legalized” CBD just before the last ballot initiative for the same reason and now, over two years later, they are still discussing it but no one has seen any benefit.
        They’ll talk about it for another 20 years if they manage to crush this ballot initiative too.

        Retirees are a tiny fraction of the population but consume 30% of the prescription drugs sold.
        Big Pharma and Big Insurance “own” the Tallahassee legislature.
        Without a constitutional amendment, they’ll never let go of the financial death grip they hold in this state.

        The Sinned Angel

        • DeeperDish

          Buddy Dyer is good buddies with John Morgan. It was Buddy Dyer’s idea to bring about decriminalization. The measure was originally slated to take effect immediately on May 9 but was pushed back to October to add a diversion program. I have no trust in our politicians in Tallahassee, a few years ago they voted almost unanimously (144-3) to make getting caught with paraphernalia twice a felony, but I don’t see the facts supporting your case. I don’t see Buddy Dyer changing his mind and pushing back the date to October to try defeating the constitutional amendment of his good friend John Morgan.

          • TheSinnedAngel

            So the pot gets you a $50 fine but the pipe still gets you a year in jail.
            How is that not “feel good / look what we did for you / vote for me / we don’t need no stinkin’ amendment” bull crap.

            They will say or do anything to defeat the #YesOn2 proposition.
            They know the “it’s bad for you” smear won’t work again this time so they switched to the “trust us, we’re on your side now”.
            Right out of the Godfather; “embrace your enemies”.

            If you trust the Tallahassee politicians, you’ll be sleeping with the fish too.

            The Sinned Angel

            “The possession or sale of the paraphernalia used to consume marijuana or make marijuana
            products, such as pipes, bongs, or vaporizers, is a misdemeanor, as well, which can be
            punished by one year of imprisonment and a fine of $1,000.”

          • DeeperDish

            Paraphernalia has also been decriminalized in Orlando.