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Palm Beach County Votes to Decriminalize Pot Possession

Another Florida county has joined Miami-Dade, Hallandale Beach, Key West and Broward in decriminalizing marijuana.

According to WPTV, the Palm Beach County Commissioners passed a motion 4 to 1 on Tuesday, making possession of 20 grams of pot or less a civil infraction.

The ordinance gives police the option to issue a $100 citation rather than arresting the offender. If a person is unable to pay the citation, they will be able to work it off through community service.

The measure was expected to pass after a preliminary approval by commissioners in October, but the final vote was pushed to December in order to work out the ordinance’s language.

County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor, who originally proposed the measure, explained that decriminalizing the herb would ease jail overcrowding and keep pot possession charges from ruining the lives of otherwise decent and law-abiding citizens.

“It just elevates and elevates to something worse,” Taylor explained to the Sun Sentinel about the snowball effects of a marijuana arrest.

The sole dissenting vote came from Commissioner Hal Valeche, who called marijuana “a gateway drug” back in October.

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