Broward Opts For Fines In Minor Pot Cases

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Broward County commissioners have voted to create a lighter penalty for small-time marijuana possessors.

The Sun Sentinel ( ) reports that marijuana users caught with pot could walk away with a civil fine instead of facing jail time.

Broward commissioners say a person would be eligible for a citation instead of a misdemeanor arrest if the amount of marijuana is 20 grams or less and if the persons didn’t commit a crime of violence, driving under the influence or a felony.

The new citation option would be available to a person three times. The offense could be treated as a crime if a person is caught again thereafter.

Broward Commissioner Marty Kiar says the option would save money by keeping people out of jail.