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VOL. 40 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 12, 2016

Nashville marijuana decriminalization bill goes to committee

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NASHVILLE (AP) - A proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in Nashville has cleared its first hurdle in the Metro Council.

Media outlets report that Tuesday evening the Metro Council voted to advance a bill that would lessen the penalty for people who knowingly possess or exchange a half-ounce of marijuana or less to a $50 civil penalty or 10 hours of community service.

Currently, people charged with marijuana possession face a misdemeanor with up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The bill was sent to the Metro Public Safety, Beer and Regulated Beverages Committee.

Councilman Doug Pardue, who opposes the measure, says he is concern that the bill would remove discretion from police officers. The Bill's lead sponsor, Councilman Dave Rosenburg, says he will work with the police department to address the bill's language.

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