Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sheriff Hall: Nashville pot decriminalization bill is 'step in right direction’

by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean, August 31, 2016 -  Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall

says he supports an effort to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana in Nashville, calling it a “step in the right direction” to reduce incarceration rates of young people who he says don’t benefit from being in jail for the offense. 

He told The Tennessean this week that he supports “the spirit” of an ordinance under consideration in the Metro Council that would lessen the penalty for people who knowingly possess a half-ounce of marijuana or less to a $50 civil penalty or 10 hours of community service. 

“Some estimates are that 20 percent of people who are going to jails and prisons in this country are for very small amounts of marijuana or other drugs, obviously,” he said. “I haven’t discussed it with the sponsors or anything, but I just believe it’s the right direction.” Hall, whose office oversees Nashville’s jails, said he doesn’t believe arresting people for possession of small amounts of marijuana has proven beneficial. The proposal would let violators avoid a criminal record.(link)

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