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Will Miami move forward with decriminalizing pot?

Officials in Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County are considering a new ordinance that could make possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana punishable only with a civil citation, depending on the suspect's intentions.

If the suspect has the intent to sell the marijuana, then an arrest would result. However, if the suspect has the marijuana for personal use, then a civil citation and a $100 fine would apply. Police say that they would be able to determine the person's intent by the size of the bag the marijuana is being kept in.

The Miami Beach mayor said the point of the ordinance, which has not yet been approved, is to free up police officers who could be spending their time dealing with more important issues such as robberies, murders and other violent crimes that threaten public safety.

According to reports, hearings were held last week in both communities, and it was decided that talks on the proposed ordinance should continue. At least one more meeting has to take place for a final decision is made.

It appears as though many communities throughout the United States are beginning to shift their treatment of marijuana-related offenses. Some states have even gone so far as to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Still, though, the illegal growing and selling of marijuana can result in serious prison or jail time in the state of Florida. Anyone who is accused of a marijuana-related crime will need to be represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer in order to avoid the harshest punishments. 

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