Fort Lauderdale, FL: The State Attorney for Broward County (population 2 million) has announced that his office will cease criminally prosecuting low-level marijuana possession cases.
Under the new policy, the office will no longer prosecute cases that solely involve the possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis. Under state law, such cases are defined as criminal misdemeanors punishable by up to one-year in jail, a $1,000 fine, and a criminal record.
“Prosecuting these cases has no public safety value and is a costly and counterproductive use of limited resources,” Pryor wrote in a memo to the law enforcement agencies. The Sun-Sentinel newspaper reports that those involved in low-level cases will now be referred to “drug-treatment programs instead of the criminal justice system.”
Broward is one of several Florida counties that have adopted local policies to reduce criminal prosecutions involving small quantities of cannabis. Nationwide, local prosecutors in numerous cities and counties – including Baltimore, Maryland; St. Louis, Missouri; and Rochester, New York – have taken similar steps to end low-level marijuana prosecutions.
For additional information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator, at Carly@norml.org.