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Washburn Decriminalizes Small Marijuana Possession

Cozmo

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Washburn has passed a city ordinance that might have people facing tickets instead of handcuffs if they're caught with marijuana. Danielle Kaeding reports.

The new ordinance keeps people with a joint out of the joint.

Washburn Assistant Police Chief Jeremy Clapero says it just gives them a different option on how to deal with pot users as opposed to the previous approach.

"They were arrested on the spot and brought to jail–they were booked into the jail and then they would be at some point released and appear in court on that charge. Now there's a situation where they can get a ticket with the fine amount and released. It's not on their criminal record at that point."

Clapero says the new ordinance could save officers time and resources. "A situation where a person has a small or a very small amount of marijuana in their possession or in their car, this may be used instead of bringing that person to criminal court and having a criminal offense on their record for something would he be issued a city ordinance citation which is a forfeiture offense–similar to like a speeding ticket."

Clapero hopes that people won't view the ordinance as leniency for stoners. "It's not intended to say that we're not tough on drugs. We're still tough on drugs it's just gives us another avenue. We're behind just what every other agency has done, so we just kind of stepped up and did what they did."

Clapero says Washburn police might not use the ordinance and that arrests will probably still be made. He says the ordinance is not an indication of increased marijuana use in the area.


Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: BusinessNorth.com (MN)
Author: Mike Simonson
Copyright: 2007 BusinessNorth.com
Website: News From 91.3 KUWS
 
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