City says police won’t arrest for first time, small amount of marijuana possession

Published 6:29 am Monday, June 24, 2019

A Mississippi City Council says they won’t arrest first-time offenders in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.

News outlets report Hattiesburg City Council unanimously passed the regulation Tuesday, saying first-time offenders will receive a citation instead of jail time.

Marijuana remains illegal in Mississippi, but Mayor Toby Barker says this ordnance helps modernize the city’s approach to drug policy.

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He says issuing tickets removes the stigma of being taken to jail and saves the city the cost of incarceration.

Instead, first-time offenders will be summoned to court, and if found guilty will pay a fine up to $100.

Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker says the ordinance is an affirmation of current police practice.