Kalamazoo Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

Having less than an ounce now a misdemeanor


City Commissioners in Kalamazoo, Michigan voted unanimously on Monday night to decriminalize marijuana, saying that the new ordinance will help police respond to serious crimes even faster than before.

The ordinance imposes a misdemeanor charge for adults over 21 who are caught with less than one ounce of marijuana, carrying with it a fine of up to $100 or a jail sentence not to exceed 93 days. Similarly, first time offenders who plead guilty will have the option of serving probation in exchange for a deferred judgement that is not considered a conviction. The city previously prosecuted small time marijuana offenders under state law, which prescribes a fine up to $2,000 and no more than a year in jail.