West Palm Beach approves marijuana ordinance

Posted at 12:05 AM, Sep 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-16 00:05:08-04

West Palm Beach approved Tuesday a marijuana ordinance to give officers the option to issue $100 fines, instead of misdemeanor charge, to persons caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana.

After the vote, a retired judge claimed this is a win for the city and judicial system.

"One out of every two offenses, drug offenses that end up in court, are for marijuana," says retired judge Rand Hoch.

Hoch says marijuana arrests weigh down the system.

Statistics from police in Miami Beach, which passed a similar ordinance, show that processing an arrest for possession costs tax payers five times as much as issuing a citation.

That doesn't include court costs - up to $168 per person.

Hoch says this ordinance will also serve as a way to help those under the age of 18; they have the option of undergoing a diversion program with the court.