After blocking attempts to relax marijuana ordinances, the Leon County Commission will discuss diversion programs for minor offenses.
In April, Leon County Commission Chairman Bill Proctor made the case for decriminalizing marijuana. Instead of criminal charges and possible jail time, people caught with 20 grams or less would receive civil citations, similar to traffic tickets. The commission blocked the proposal, but the measure is spurring conversation about diversion programs for minor charges like petty theft and underage drinking. First-time offenders can already qualify for the county’s civil citation program, and avoid criminal charges. Leon County Sheriff Mike Wood, who is running for re-election, supports the diversion program.
“I think the civil citation process is beneficial to the community, to the criminal justice system, and to the very defendant that you don’t create. Because you give this person another opportunity. So we have juvenile and quite frankly adult civil citations,” he said.
The County Commission will discuss the civil citation program on July 12th at 1 o’clock.