First city in Central Florida decriminalizes marijuana

decriminalize marijuana, ocala news, orlando news, marion county news, marijuana
Orlando becomes first city in Central Florida to decriminalize marijuana.

Orlando, Florida — Orlando has now passed an ordinance that decriminalizes the use of marijuana.

On Monday, the ordinance passed with a 4-3 vote.

Effective October first, those caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana, which is approximately 40 joints, would receive a citation for a fine of $100 for the first offense and $200 for a second offense. Those who do not pay could have the option of performing community service, or taking a substance abuse course.

Orlando is the first city in Central Florida to decriminalize marijuana.

On Monday, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that the change shows understanding and mercy

During a press conference, Mayor Dyer said, “What we are saying is, to someone who has made a youthful mistake for the first time and they have no other background of any sort and are not associated with any crimes, we are probably going to be able to give them a second chance.”

Two former police officers on the council, Tony Ortiz and Samuel Ings, as well as Commissioner Jim Gray opposed the new ordinance.

In July of 2015, Ocala Post reported that commissioners in Miami-Dade County, Florida, were the first in the state to pass an ordinance allowing marijuana ( possession to be treated as a civil offense.

At that time, Ocala Post reached out to the Marion County Board of County Commissioners and asked, “Would the BOCC ever consider decriminalizing marijuana possession for anything under 20 grams?”

Marion County Public Information Officer Elaine DeIorio McClain wrote, “Commissioner Arnett has been working with the Sheriff and others regarding a new ‘civil citation program’ that offers certain first-time arrestees of non-violent offenses the opportunity for a first arrest to be handled through a civil citation process.”

Ocala Post then informed the BOCC that passing such an ordinance is not the decision of the Sheriff. And even though law enforcement could possibly use their own discretion whether or not to arrest an individual for marijuana possession, as do many Florida law enforcement agencies; ultimately, it is the job of the BOCC to vote on such an ordinance.

Ocala Post also stated to the BOCC that they had not answered the exact question.

“The BCC will not determine the specific offenses applicable under the program we referenced. The specific item (marijuana) you’re writing on is not currently on the BCC agenda,” Public Information Officer McClain said. She went on to say, “That is a question for the Commission. We have forwarded your request to our commissioners, as they would be the ones to advise if they would consider it.”

Marion County has not made any progress with adopting a similar ordinance.

In fact, according to the Public Policy Institute of Marion County, Inc., Marion County’s incarceration rate is 1.5 times the state average.

Commissioners in Broward County, Miami Beach, and Gainesville are currently discussing a similar ordinance.

We want to hear from you. Do you think Marion County should decriminalize marijuana?

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  • disqus_pUrvBSsl4W


    • Kermit

      HOLY SHIT!!!

    • History

      Just like alcohol leads to hard drugs? Or the computer gets in the way of good parenting? Hemp can be used for everything from clothing, to food, to fuel for cars AND has medicinal purposes. Hemp is a superior source of fiber for paper than trees. It’s renewable, uses no pesticides, has a shorter growth to harvest, and can be grown almost anywhere. Cigarettes, which are addictive, have been linked to heart disease, chronic lung diseases, increase or worsening of childhood asthma, and cancers – but most people feel it’s their right to smoke if they choose. Before cannabis was criminalized, women’s groups encouraged wives to buy it for their husbands in place of alcohol. Men who smoked instead of drinking alcohol didn’t have the same compulsion to hit their wives and children. But you feel free to freak out about scenarios based on fantasy.

      • disqus_pUrvBSsl4W

        Altho what you say may be true,but have you experienced the effects of this drug personally? Well,I have!!!! While it has good uses in the things you speak of,it also,just as alcohol,cigarettes and whatnot,has bad effects. While I personally have never been into drugs,street or prescription,I realize I am in the minority(‘),as most people need a crutch to get them thru whatever life brings them.
        Peace out,life is a joy minus the drugs! I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT POT IS OK AND I REFUSE TO GET DRAWN INTO AN ARGUMENT. HAVE A WONDERFULLY BLESSED DAY!!!! Caps are not me screaming btw!

        • Bubbles

          If you don;t want to argue. Don;t post nonsense on the internet. Your backwards, outdated thinking is the reason that non-violent, otherwise law abiding people are filling up jail cells.

          • disqus_pUrvBSsl4W

            Like I said… NOT a DRUGGIE!As far as posting nonsense…..first of all…..Just because im not a druggie,does not take away MY RIGHT to my opinion or MY RIGHT to post. So back it up buttercup,you dont like what I post….feel free to not read it,lol. Go smoke another.What you or anyone besides my immediate family does is of no concern to me

          • Bubbles

            No, but what you think effects us all. Educate yourself. Your gateway drug theory has been proven wrong. Your ridiculous comments like “go smoke another” show your ignorance, buttercup. You don’t have a days worth of medical, scientific, or most likely, secondary education. But, you just know that the big evil pot plant is bad. Lady stop talking out your rear end. If you want to remain willfully ignorant, so be it. Just stop sharing your idiotic statements with others. There’s bound to be some other low IQ people reading this and will buy into your garbage.

          • Bubbles

            Judy, ever have a beer or glass of wine?

          • Bubbles

            You do realize that eating yourself to death is far worse than using cannabis right? I bet you won’t speak out about that though, will ya fatty? I tell you what. When you can actually lose enough weight to be able to walk on your own, I will take you seriously then. You are ridiculously unhealthy. Have no problem destroying your own body with food. Yet you want to pass judgement on people medicating with a harmless plant…. Good Lord I have to get out of this fn hick town. People here are seriously stupid.

          • cc

            Oh, tell me about it. I hate Ocala.

          • disqus_pUrvBSsl4W

            You know what ……you are showing your ignorance by name calling,being hateful,just because I have a different opinion than you! Have you taken a glimpse in the mirror lately? What on earth turned your mouth upside down? Got a good idea,but im not expressing it here. I can assure you of this….you would not walk away unscathed in person. So keep hiding behind that screen in front of you. BACK TO THE SUBJECT AT HAND. I VOICED MY OPINION,WHICH I HAVE A RIGHT TO DO. GET OVER IT!!!!!

          • History

            While you have the right to voice your opinion, that does not exempt you from the consequences of others voicing their opinions right back at you.

          • Bubbles

            You gonna try and sit on me fat ass? Lady you are a disgusting pig. Your idle threats are hilarious. Now go eat another chip off the floor like in the video on your facebook page you filthy animal.

          • disqus_pUrvBSsl4W

            No,im not gonna sit on you…..touching you would make me puke. I may be fat…..I can lose weight… are butt ugly and nothing will ever change that!!!!

          • Bubbles

            Come on lady, who ya think you’re fooling? You couldn’t lose weight without surgery at this point. I mean if you were gonna lose weight, wouldn’t you want to do it before you became dependent on a scooter to get your fat ass around? Or maybe make the effort once you realized how pathetic you had become that you needed help to get around? But, it’s the marijuana that’s bad for ya…. ‘Merica!

          • History

            While I agree with you on the cannabis issue, the whole fat shaming thing is over the line. You’re making judgments based on a profile photo and have no idea about her life. Thanks for the back up, but let’s stay on topic without trying to shame anyone. No offence intended and thanks.

          • Bubbles

            Just trying to wake her up. She sits there being all judgmental of “druggies’ but has no problem eating herself to death. Sick and tired of others trying to pretend they know whats best for everyone while they can’t even do what is best for themselves.

        • History

          You are speaking in circles. First you say you have experienced them personally then you deny ever having “been into drugs”. Which is it? Yes, I have smoked and inhaled. No, it never made me want to try anything harder. I have also had alcohol, but I don’t feel the need to drink to relieve stress. I don’t need a “crutch” to get through life. There are a lot of people with un-diagnosed mental issues. They tend to self medicate with multiple “crutches”. Crutches come in many forms, everything from religion, to food, to heroin. Are you going to outlaw God and donuts as well? The real problem is we don’t have enough mental health providers, the stigma that mental health issues have, and the lack of access for people to medical care. Know your enemy.
          BTW, if you aren’t screaming then why use all caps and multiple exclamation marks?

          • disqus_pUrvBSsl4W

            History,there is more than one way to experience the effects of something without using it yourself. I repeat…I have never been a druggie…..but just know,that I have experienced the effects,thru loved ones use.
            Btw….im merely making a point or trying to with the use of multiple exclamation marks and some words in caps. Capice! That is better than vile name calling and or telling outright lies on another person.
            But my question is…..why is this still going on… has been several days since I posted and yet,here it is all over again. Why?

          • History

            First, I work for a living. I don’t have time to sit on the computer and wait for you to try and explain something you don’t understand. Second, I never called you a name or lied about you or anyone else. Third, exclamation marks are used to express strong emotions and all caps in a thread are often used for the same thing. When used together they denote yelling. Capisci?
            So, someone you know was self-medicating with something, but it was what they were using not the underlying problem. I see your coping mechanism is denial. Nothing ever gets fixed when you treat the symptoms not the cause.

          • disqus_pUrvBSsl4W

            History,I was not speaking of you when I referenced name calling and lying. I felt like you and I openly and honestly gave our views,each trying to understand where the other was coming from. I have been called several nasty names and been lied on by one that does not know me,but no….it was not you.I’m really sorry if you felt otherwise.As to caps and explanation marks,I am aware that generally,they are considered yelling. For me,it is just my way of dealing with the harshness of folks on the internet,making judgements about someone they know nothing about.Having said all that,im reallythrough with this whole thing……just wanted you to know,I have no issue with you. Peace,J

    • Bubbles

      Please educate yourself…..

    • Halee Anne Murray

      Honestly, I dont see anything wrong with legalizing marijuana! For the simple fact that it helps people with PTSD, cancer ect.. It SHOULD be legalized in all states. This herb even helps kids that have seizures.

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  • maria diaz

    marijuana should be held as a civil action when less than 20 grams if more than an arrest should be made.

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  • Michael

    Hats off to Orlando for doing this, you think Ocala would do this no way as they continue to line there pockets and scam the rest of us, and destroy families over B/S,