Miami Beach Pot Petition Presented to Commission, But Vote Could Take Awhile

Categories: News
potsmoker2.jpg
photo by Michael McElroy
A triumphant group of pot activists presented the Miami Beach Commission yesterday with more than 9,000 signatures in favor of decriminalizing small amounts of weed -- but damned if city attorney Jose Smith didn't do his best to harsh their mellow.

Smith, despite admitting he hadn't actually read the petition, questioned its constitutionality. Beach commissioners, meanwhile, declined to put the measure on a ballot this fall. Organizer Ford Banister tells Riptide he's not worried, though. "It will be on the ballot in Miami Beach," he says. "This will be the first city in Florida with a chance to vote to decriminalize marijuana."

The petition would change the city's charter to give cops the discretion to issue $100 fines for small amounts of pot rather than filing criminal charges. Dozens of states have considered similar measures, and Massachusetts passed one in 2008.

Assuming at least 4,300 of the signatures gathered by Banister's group, Sensible Florida, pass muster, the measure should head to a vote on the Beach.

Unfortunately, Banister says, there's likely to be quite a bit of legal wrangling first over the wording of the measure. If there's a disagreement with city clerks, a circuit court judge could rule on the issue.

Still, the organizer says Smith was wrong to question the measure's constitutionality. "He admitted he hasn't seen the petition at all," Banister said. "He was confused on the issues."

The measure seems unlikely to end up on this fall's municipal ballot, but Banister says he expects it to go to a vote sometime in the next 12 months.

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14 comments
Miam Heat Playa
Miam Heat Playa

we all know the majority of cops rather bust you for a joint,than go after someone with a gun that just robbed a brinks armored truck.it's more important to kill your high and fill up jails with bullshit pot possession charges and start arresting people for more real serious charges- they are very aware that joints don't shoot back real bullets that's the easy arrest that they want.that's why they'll never approve pot in this ridiculous city with so many rules but so many corrupt people in power stealing our money and inventing bullshit laws to invade our privacy more and more. GET CORRUPTION OUT OF OUR CITY.FOR A BETTER TOMORROW.

knowa1
knowa1

Sounds like the scales of Justice is one sided  when did freedom of speech be some thing our own government would block.  The Truth   It's bad enough that the DEA  has been milking  this sacred Fraud, for long enough.  Familys are being ruined children our in Foster Homes. 

knowa1
knowa1

These dark 40 pluss years of Phohibitinon oue forfited civil right and when you read.Accordingto Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: Responsibilities: The Director "Drug Czar" (12) shall ensure thatno Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policyshall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for amedical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions asnecessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in anyform) that--(A) is listed in schedule I of section 202 of theControlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812); and (B) has not been approved foruse for medical purposes by the Food and Drug Administration;

Herbsman2OO
Herbsman2OO

I was going to sign it but I fell asleep.

seep
seep

No fines. No preference of one substance over others.  Legalize all drugs and legalize them fully.

Muse Photos
Muse Photos

It's so utterly ridiculous to even have to pay $100 dollars for smoking an herb that grows in nature.  It's all about money and power.  If you all haven't read 1984 I suggest you do so.  You will learn how war = peace and other gorgeous double speak ideals that will help with understanding these morons and their supposed "helpful measures"

ItsJustAPlant
ItsJustAPlant

Save the city time and money, pass this ASAP.

FloydIan4ever
FloydIan4ever

Really? Let's get the self righteous nut jobs in an up roar about how this is going to destroy their children

serious person
serious person

this people should have an office and more publicity i'm sure they can get more than 9,000 people to sign that in the county of DADE!

Cobra
Cobra

Wow...break out the crack pipes for this guy...your brain must be oatmeal by now...

Matthew Earl
Matthew Earl

All drugs? Dude stick with herb. It's better for you.

Cobra
Cobra

LOL did you just finish reading it yesterday??

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