Councilman wants to amend city ordinance to decriminalize mariju - - Jackson, MS

Councilman wants to amend city ordinance to decriminalize marijuana possession

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Jackson councilman wants to decriminalize the use of marijuana in the city.

Tuesday Councilman De'Keither Stamps was joined by organizations in support of lessening penalties.

READ MORE: Jackson councilman pushing to decriminalize marijuana use

"We can stop turning users into criminals, but focus our efforts on hard drugs," Stamps told Jackson Council members after his ordinance to amend the city code was read.

He wants to change Chapter 86 Article III of the Jackson Code of Ordinances.

The Ward Four representative's proposal would decriminalize marijuana possession in the city.

He proposes limiting the maximum penalty for possession of 30 grams or less to a $100 fine, with no prison time.

"Hopefully, this is the beginning of multiple agencies taking the same stance focusing on murder and heroin and opioids and those things that are really ripping apart people's lives," said Stamps.

Prior to the council session, Stamps held a news conference.

The councilman was joined by members of the ACLU, the Mississippi Cannabis Coalition and others in support of the measure.

"The enforcement of marijuana laws generates some of justice's starkest racial disparities," said MS ACLU Executive Director Jennifer Riley-Collins. "A black person is almost four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, despite almost equal use."

Dave Singletary, with the MS Cannabis Coalition, applauds the city's efforts and wants full recreational legalization of marijuana in the state.

"This is the first step in the direction for justice reform in the state of Mississippi, and also to relieve suppression of certain minorities in the state that are unfairly singled out by this war on drugs," said Singletary.

Stamps hopes the city passes the amendment to join 13 other states including: Atlanta, Memphis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. which have lessen penalties for personal possession.

No action was taken and the amendment will appear on the February 13 council agenda. 

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