More and more municipalities are decriminalizing marijuana possession. It’s a logic move since arresting people for marijuana possession is a enormous waste of tax payer dollars. In Philadelphia, were marijuana was decriminalized last year, the city has saved over one million dollars already. It is estimated that a marijuana arrest costs well over 1,000 dollars. However, writing someone a citation only costs twenty dollars in resources. In a perfect world, no one would receive any ticket or penalty at all, but marijuana decriminalization is a good step in the right direction.
The Miami-Dade Police Department wants to decriminalize marijuana possession. Usually such an effort is led by activists, and opposed by law enforcement to the bitter end. But in this rare instance, the Miami-Dade Police Department actually helped draft the proposal. Per the Miami Herald:
Possessing misdemeanor amounts of marijuana in Miami-Dade County could bring a $100 fine instead of a criminal charge under a new proposal backed by police brass.
If adopted by the commission and not vetoed by Mayor Carlos Gimenez, the new ordinance would let officers issue a civil citation to someone carrying less than 20 grams of marijuana, about two-thirds of an ounce. That’s about how much would fit in a sandwich bag — or enough to produce about three dozen joints — and the amount that determines a misdemeanor.
“We helped draft and support this effort as a discretionary option for misdemeanor marijuana,” said Juan Perez, deputy director of the Miami-Dade Police Department. “This gives the option to go with a citation for those individuals that may have no record, or only a minor criminal history, [and]stay out of the criminal justice system.”
No one should have their life ruined because they are possessing a personal amount of a plant that is safer than alcohol and tobacco. This is a very sensible move by the Miami-Dade PD, and I hope that other law enforcement agencies push for this type of policy throughout America. Cops signed up for the job because they wanted to catch real criminals. Marijuana consumers are not real criminals, and cops should welcome the reduction in marijuana enforcement workload so that they can focus on fighting real crime.