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VOL. 40 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 5, 2016

Nashville law would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana

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NASHVILLE (AP) - An ordinance in Nashville seeks to reduce the penalty for people caught possessing or exchanging small amounts of marijuana.

The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/2aBZ0QF) reports that under the new ordinance, people who possess or exchange a half-ounce of marijuana would face a civil penalty of $50. A court could also choose to suspend the civil penalty and order 10 hours of community service.

Under the current state law, people who commit the offense face a fine of $2,500 and a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year behind bars.

Metro Councilman Dave Rosenberg says the current law is time-consuming for police since they have to arrest people over a marijuana misdemeanor.

Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron says the police department opposes the law because the ordinance's language removes discretion from officers.

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