BIRMINGHAM, AL — A spokesperson for the Jefferson County (population: 658,000) Sheriff’s Office on Monday announced that local law enforcement will begin citing, rather than arresting, low-level marijuana offenders.
Under the new policy, police will issue a summons to those who possess personal amounts of marijuana or cannabis-related paraphernalia. Offenders will no longer be arrested or booked.
Those cited and released will still have to either pay a fine or appear in court at a later date. Those with prior cannabis violations will still be eligible to receive a summons.
Under state law, marijuana possession is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one-year in jail and a $6,000 fine.
Additional information is available from NORML’s ‘Local Decriminalization‘ report.