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Marijuana ordinance expected to be introduced at Shelby County Commission

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. --  It’s only been about 24 hours since the marijuana ordinance passed in Memphis, and another one's already being talked about.

But this time, it's at the county level.

Commissioner Van Turner says he likes the idea of not everyone going to jail for having a small amount of marijuana.

“I think this can go a long way in not allowing a mistake to really affect or ill-affect a young person’s life for the rest of his or her life," Turner said.

That’s why he supported the marijuana ordinance passed in Memphis. It gives officers an option of punishments for those caught with less than half an ounce.

They can get a $50 fine, community service or still be punished under state law.

"It’s a case-by-case situation," Turner said. "It allows some flexibility.”

Now he wants to introduce the same ordinance at County Commission.

It’d only be for unincorporated parts of the county, areas many mix up with being in city limits. Much of the unincorporated area falls into Commissioner Turner’s district and was supposed to be annexed into the city.

“I’ve been living in Memphis for a while and I still get confused," said Wuraola Apata.

Turner thinks the ordinance would help take away that confusion when it comes to marijuana.

But it wouldn’t apply to the six suburbs, like Germantown and Collierville.

“I think it should go all across the border because it’s kind of confusing because OK, you get to a certain limit, you still think it’s Shelby County or city limits," said Jessica Sanders.

"Until you see a policeman and then you’re like, 'Oh I guess we’re in Germantown,'" added Apata.

Turner says he’s mainly focusing on what’s right for his district with the ordinance and will support whatever other commissioners think is right for theirs.

He plans to introduce the ordinance within the next few weeks at commission.

He says the wording will likely be identical to the one passed in Memphis.