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Marijuana Possession In Miami Beach Could Lead To Fine, Not Jail Time

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – People caught with small amounts of marijuana may no longer face arrest in the City of Miami Beach. Instead people will be given $100 ticket.

However, that hinges on whether or not the city commission passes a proposed measure on Wednesday.

Mayor Phillip Levine's proposal is similar to one being considered by Miami-Dade County, which would give police the option of issuing a civil citation rather than making an arrest.

The issue of whether police should spend their time making arrests over small amounts of marijuana was the focus of a recent CBS4 News Investigation – Race Matters: Policing By The Numbers.  The series noted how an arrest, even for a misdemeanor like marijuana possession, can have a serious effect on a person's future.

Critics of the current law also claim marijuana arrests disproportionately affect blacks.

If passed, the Miami Beach ordinance would apply to individuals with 20 grams or less of marijuana.

The person could pay the fine or request a hearing to appeal the fine.

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