Marijuana ordinance now in effect in Memphis, new one to be proposed

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- The marijuana ordinance is officially in effect in Memphis and another one is about to be proposed.

The ordinance went into effect on Monday in Memphis.

Keven Franks is a firm believer in second chances.

"I feel like all over the world deserves a second chance, second chances, ain't nobody perfect," said Franks. "Everybody deserves a second chance."

Which is why he likes the idea of the marijuana ordinance passed in Memphis.

It gives police options when punishing people caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana.

They can still get the misdemeanor or now can pay a fine or do community service.

Although a win for some marijuana supporters, it by no means legalizes it.

"I'm not going to smoke weed," said Franks. "I'm just going to let that law stay what it is because I don't trust that law."

The ordinance was officially signed Monday and is now in effect in city limits.

"This is really about giving some young person that's made a mistake another chance and it's about really not clogging up our criminal justice system," said Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner.

Commissioner Turner is proposing the same ordinance before county commission on Wednesday.

His is only meant for unincorporated parts of the county, not including suburbs like Germantown and Collierville.

"It would mirror what the city had done and only extend out to the unincorporated areas of the city of Memphis, period," he said.

It'll take three reads to need approval.

Even if approved, Commissioner Turner wants to make one point clear.

"This is not to make any sort of statement," he said. "This is not to become part of any sort of movement. This is just, I think, good policy."

He said his ordinance would affect roughly 40,000 extra people if passed.


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