Senator Montgomery celebrates the passage of legislation decriminalizing small amounts of Marijuana. Some of her comments on the bill were:
This is a very long time coming, we needed this. Even though it is half of what we would like to see done. The other half being legalization, but certainly decriminalization is extremely important.
Under current statues, the minimum penalty for Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (any amount of marijuana) is a fine of $100 for the first offense and goes up to $250 or 15 days in jail if you have prior drug convictions. This bill reduces the penalty to a $50 fine regardless of conviction history.
This bill will also turn Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fifth degree from a class B misdeameanor (punishable up to 3 months in jail) into a violation punishable up to a fine of $200. While changing the statute to reflect the violation to being in possession of more than 28g or an ounce before the violation is triggered. Ultimately, removing criminal penalties (Violations are not a crime) for possession under two ounces of marijuana.
Furthermore, this bill allows for the expungement of people who have been convicted of Unlawful Possession and Criminal Possession of marijuana in the fifth degree.
If you would like to learn more about this leglislation click here.