(Source: American Civil Liberties Union)
Pot USERS might receive only verbal and written warnings instead of fines and jail time if the New Orleans City Council gets behind a proposed ordinance to reduce penalties for simple marijuana possession.
District A City Councilwoman Susan Guidry — who helped pass a 2010 ordinance giving officers more discretion in ticketing first-time offenders instead of arresting them — introduced a new measure last week in the Council's Criminal Justice Committee that expands those rules for all simple possession offenses, whether a first strike or fourth. The measure aims to free up the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) to focus on violent crime.
Under the new rules, officers can give a verbal warning for people holding fewer than 14 grams of marijuana. A second offense carries a written warning, a third violation includes a fine of no more than $50, and a fourth offense carries a fine of no more than $100.