Tennessee attorney general issues opinion against marijuana ordinances

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s attorney general has issued an opinion saying municipalities cannot enact and enforce ordinances that allow police to reduce the penalty for people who possess small amounts of marijuana.

marijuana-illegalAttorney General Herbert H. Slatery III said in an opinion released Wednesday that marijuana decriminalization ordinances like ones passed in September by the Nashville Metropolitan Council and last month by the Memphis City Council conflict with state law, specifically the Tennessee Drug Control Act.

The ordinances give police officers who come across people in possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana the option of issuing a civil citation for a $50 fine or community service, rather than arresting the individual. The individual would still have to appear before a judge, who would approve the fine or community service.

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