Superior City Council Approves Decriminalizing Small Amounts of Marijuana

Taylor Holt
Updated: October 02, 2018 10:37 PM

Superior City Council unanimously approved an ordinance change at Tuesday night's meeting. The change would make it a city violation rather than a state charge, if people are found in possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana.

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This moves follows several other municipalities int he city that have passed similar ordinances, and was endorsed by Superior Police Chief Nicholas Alexander.

"Our officers when we deal with offenses involving the possession of marijuana have always only had one option and that is to charge with the state statute possession of marijuana," said Alexander. 

Right now, for a first-time possession offense it's a misdemeanor and a felony charge for a second one.

"i do support as, Councilor Sutherland mentioned, an ordinance that does allow sort of a second chance for people to get their life on the right track, and allows them to do that without having some of the lifelong consequences that could be tied with a criminal conviction," said Alexander.

Alexander stressed marijuana possession would still be illegal in Superior but it would give officers another tool to use, under certain circumstances.

"It is an offense. It's just in the right set of circumstances, we may choose to use an ordinance instead, " he said."I think on average it's probably anywhere from 100 to 200 arrests for small amounts of marijuana per year, and many of those would qualify to be charged out under this ordinance."

He says he does understand the concerns about it.

"I've heard plenty of people in support of it, and then I've heard others who do have concerns that marijuana can be a gateway drug and are we sending a message that it's okay or it's not that big of a deal.I understand that, but for me, it's not that," said Alexander. 

As far as the consequences for repeat offenders, they won't change.

"They're going to still ultimately see the same level of accountability that they would have in the past," said Alexander.

Mayor Jim Paine has five days to sign it, or it goes into effect automatically.



Taylor Holt

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