SUBSTITUTE ORDINANCE NO. BL2016-378
An ordinance to amend Title 11 of the Metropolitan Code to institute a civil penalty for possession of one-half (½) ounce of marijuana or less.
WHEREAS, Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-418(a) & (b) makes it a misdemeanor for individuals to knowingly possess or casually exchange a small amount of marijuana not in excess of one-half (½) ounce; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council finds that when an individual’s only offense is possession of marijuana, law enforcement should be afforded the discretion to determine whether criminal penalties and criminal records are disproportionate to the severity of the offense; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council finds that civil penalties and community service may be commensurate with the offense of possession of one-half (½) ounce or less of marijuana when that is the only chargeable offense.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That Chapter 11.32 of the Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County Code is hereby amended by creating a new section to read as follows:
11.32.030 - Possession of Marijuana in Certain Amounts
A. It is an offense for a person to knowingly possess a small amount of marijuana not in excess of one-half (½) ounce (14.175 grams).
B. A police officer shall have the authority to issue a civil citation to persons found in violation of this section. The amount of the civil penalty shall be fifty dollars for each violation. The court may, in its discretion, suspend the civil penalty imposed under this subsection if the person found liable agrees to and does in fact perform such community service as the court deems appropriate, up to ten hours.
Section 2. That this Ordinance shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Dave Rosenberg, Russ Pulley, Freddie O'Connell, Scott Davis, Karen Johnson, Nancy VanReece, Erica Gilmore,
|Introduced:||August 16, 2016|
|Passed First Reading:||August 16, 2016 - Roll Call Vote|
|Referred to:||Public Safety, Beer, and Regulated Beverages Committee|
|Substitute Introduced:||September 6, 2016|
|Passed Second Reading:||September 6, 2016|
|Passed Third Reading:||September 20, 2016 - Roll Call Vote|
|Approved:||September 21, 2016|
Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.