Nashville leaders to vote to decriminalize small marijuana amounts

(WSMV) - Nashville leaders will cast a final vote Tuesday night on whether to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

The ordinance aims to decriminalize small amounts of pot, which is defined as half an ounce or less. Metro police would still use their discretion whether to issue a $50 fine or a criminal charge.

Councilman Dave Rosenberg said he thinks the vote will go through since the last two votes passed overwhelmingly.

Rosenberg said he has not heard of any new opposition to the measure ahead of Tuesday night's vote.

One state lawmaker, Rep. William Lamberth, said he believes the ordinance does not protect everyone equally if it's still up to an officer's discretion.

Lamberth says he has considered moving to pull highway funding from cities that pass similar laws. He says state laws on having marijuana would not change.

If it is approved, the ordinance heads to Mayor Megan Barry's desk for her to sign into law. Barry has said she supports the measure.

The issue is expected to lead to a rally and march on Tuesday at Legislative Plaza.

Memphis leaders will hold a similar vote next month. In Knox County, an effort to get a symbolic vote to legalize marijuana on the November ballot failed because it didn't get enough signatures.


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