No arrest for first-time weed possession in Mississippi city

June 24, 2019

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — 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. 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.

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