Jacksonville City Councilmember Garrett Dennis is set to formally introduce his legislation concerning possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia at City Council's May 15 meeting.
Dennis wants Jacksonville to follow other Florida cities and counties in offering the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office an alternative to the standard misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana. If passed, the bill would allow officers to issue offenders a civil infraction for having less than 20 grams.
The bill was filed on May 8 and immediately caused a stir in local media. Popular opinion seems to support the move, but most citizens anticipate that City Council will ultimately vote down the bill.
The Neighborhood, Community Services, Public Health & Safety Committee is scheduled to review the bill on May 20, followed by the Rules Committee on May 21.
Community members will have the opportunity to speak on the legislation when City Council holds a public hearing on May 28.
According to the City Council’s office, it is rare for members to vote on controversial bills after only one public reading. More likely, the proposed bill will return to the standing committees to be seconded, and City Council will discuss it during several meetings before voting.
Dennis’ complete legislation can be found at here.