PBSO won't offer pot civil citation option

Posted at 5:57 AM, Apr 19, 2016

Civil penalties for pot will not be moving forward in Palm Beach County.

In an email sent to commissioners the deputy county administrator reports Sheriff Ric Bradshaw will continue to enforce state law and will choose to ignore the county’s new citation option.

In December, commissioners approved an ordinance allowing deputies to issue a $100 fine or 10 hours of community service if found with 20 grams of pot or less.

Soon after passage, the county met with PBSO Chief Deputy Michael Gauger to review the adopted ordinance and discuss procedures for issuance of the citations. After the meeting Chief Gauger informed the county that PBSO will continue to enforce state law and will not be utilizing the citation option.

In Florida, marijuana possession is treated as a criminal offense and it is up to the officer’s discretion to either arrest or issue a notice to appear.

Our partners at the Palm Beach Post say the sheriff’s office uses the latter to get people into pretrial intervention and drug treatment programs.

County administrators told commissioners they will continue to work with the court administrator and clerk’s office in the event that PBSO changes its mind.