Miami Beach City Attorney Says Marijuana Decriminalization Petition Doesn't Pass Legal Muster

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Despite 9,000 Miami Beach citizens signing a petition to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, the city's attorney said that creating such a law is an impossibility. The attorney claims that such an action would conflict with state law.

The petition was presented to the Miami Beach City Commission back in January by the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy. The petition would force the commission to put the proposed law on a ballot to be voted on by Miami Beach citizens. The law would in effect decriminalize personal possession of marijuana. Instead of facing more serious chargers, anyone 21 years of age or older caught with less than 20 grams of pot would only be forced to pay a $100 fine. Currently Floridians caught with less than 20 grams of that sticky icky could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The national chapter of CSMP has previously spearheaded the passage of a similar state-wide law in Massachusetts back in 2008.

Last month, city attorney Jose Smith told Riptide that he hadn't even read the petition, but called it unconstitutional. Now, presumably he's had time to read it, and tells The Miami Herald he's sure it would conflict with state law.

"It's not a petition that would pass legal muster if it ever went to court," Smith told The Herald.

Based on Smith's opinion, the commission could derail the possible vote.

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20 comments
Doctor Sasha
Doctor Sasha

Jose is a very honest straight shooter except when it comes to harassment of tenants in his properties.  Justice is on the way.

Manoloagalvez
Manoloagalvez

Why is a medicine (Marijuana) that stops cancer from growing, cures auto immune deficiencies (aids), protects our synapses with a layer of fat, and promotes the regrowth of brain cells still pursued as criminal in Florida. MJ should be taxed and regulated as to not fund drug dealers living tax free. No wonder this country is in debt.

BR SUMBICH
BR SUMBICH

A test for the supporters of legalization...Which civilized nation in the world is it that has legalized marijuana?

bigriggs
bigriggs

The demand for twinkies and cheetohs would skyrocket if this passed.

Youssef
Youssef

Of course they don't want it to go to voters. Anyone who isn't a drooling retard knows we are wasting hundreds of billions of dollars a year enforcing a law on a harmless weed. It's a joke. The only people in favor of prohibition are uneducated on the issue. I've yet to meet one single person who has read up on the studies, who is for prohibition. It's simply a lot of old people armed with old wives tales and boogie man stories their parents used to tell them. We have much bigger fish to fry. Tobacco is a much more dangerous drug, spend billions fighting it.

Kurt Erlenbach
Kurt Erlenbach

Jose is probably right. A city cannot pass a law that says a state law does not apply to it, because a city is a legal subdivision of the state. A state can decriminalize marijuana, but federal laws still apply. It is only because the feds agree not to intervene that they stay out of states that have such laws. But the US constitution makes federal law supreme, so the feds could make arrests and prosecute in states that have decriminalized if they chose to. A city's relationship to the state is different than a state's relationship to the country.

Expandyourkind
Expandyourkind

Conflicting with state laws should not be an issue. In every state where the plant is medicinalized, it is in direct conflict with federal law. If a commonwealth votes on something, it should hold up. Just as the federal laws cant ever over run state laws, so should it be for local cities and towns regarding statewide laws. This is groundbreaking and soon skeptics will truly understand the benefits of the most studied and revered plant in human history.

seep
seep

To hell with state law!

ItsJustAPlant
ItsJustAPlant

The way it was made illegal in this country doesn't pass legal muster!  It's G-D ridiculous.  What 'The Union' on Netflix Streaming for any question about it not being legal.

Guest
Guest

so what--- just what the beach needs- more drugs--NOT! (from ongoing corrupt south floridians and illegals to laissez faire cops to imbecile visitors and lame residents- weed surely won't help the cause. puff puff pass

Doctor Sasha
Doctor Sasha

Because Jose said so, and he is the BOSS.

BR SUMBICH
BR SUMBICH

 Local law cannot trump state law, and state law cannot trump federal law.

BR SUMBICH
BR SUMBICH

Pot will never pass FDA clinical trials, since no 2 samples are identical.

Don't hold your breath for medical MJ.

Ben_Murk
Ben_Murk

@Guest ORLy how bout making Miami beach cops fight real crime - violence, theft, instead of arresting tourists smoking weed on the beach...

lol
lol

y u mad tho

Ben_Murk
Ben_Murk

@BR SUMBICH tell that to CO and WA they don't care

Ben_Murk
Ben_Murk

@BR SUMBICH FDA has clinical trials for plants too, they just won't admit it when it comes to marijuana

seep
seep

They can absolutely clone cannabis so that every plant has an identical genome.  This is already being done with Sativex.

Guest
Guest

ur right...cuz we're live'n in a drug indused banana republic.... and smoke'n sum weed ain't da cure

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