A Mobile citizen came forward Tuesday and asked the City to consider the decriminalization of marijuana or to lessen penalties for being in possession of marijuana.
Timothy Hollis spoke at the regular council meeting and presented council members with a 2018 ordinance from the City of Savannah, Mobile’s sister city. He said it was part of Savannah’s effort to decriminalize possession of marijuana. However, Savannah did not decriminalize marijuana; the ordinance made possession of a small amount of marijuana a ticketable offense instead of a misdemeanor charge.
Hollis also used New Orleans as an example of how Mobile could follow suit and lessen penalties for possession.
Councilman Joel Daves explained to Hollis that state laws limit the authority of municipalities.
However, Councilman William Carroll said he believed there will be some type of announcement or ordinance before the council soon.
“I think that the majority of this council up here is maybe in favor of lessening the penalty for marijuana,” said Carroll. “We can’t go beyond what the state law allows us to do.”
1819 News spoke with Councilman Josh Woods following the meeting. He said he believes in allowing people their freedoms but that the law is the law.
“I classify myself almost as a Republican Libertarian, a Goldwater Libertarian, so I definitely want to stay out of people’s business in that,” Woods said. “But at the end of the day, it’s against a federal law and a state law, and my opinion is we uphold the laws that are in place. A municipal ordinance is not going to override the state law.”
Woods said Tuesday was the first time he had heard any discussion about a possible ordinance to lessen the penalty for possessing marijuana.
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