OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Members of the Oklahoma City City Council have passed a citywide ordinance shielding minor marijuana offenders from arrest and jail.
While the policy does not amend the criminal classification of cannabis-related violations under local law, it does change how police interact with low-level offenders.
Under the ordinance, which takes effect October 26, police will issue a citation to marijuana possession offenders in lieu of making an arrest and taking them to jail.
The new policy also lowers the maximum fines for marijuana possession to $400 and caps the maximum fine for possessing cannabis paraphernalia to $50.00.
Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty proposed the policy change, stating: “What we’re trying to do is not put so many people in jail. It’s not reasonable anymore and hasn’t been for quite some time.”
Under Oklahoma state law, minor marijuana possession offenses are punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.