Here is the text of the proposed city of Orlando marijuana ordinance. It appears that Orlando will be joining Tampa and St. Petersburg in the drive to decriminalize marijuana in Florida. The Orlando marijuana law makes a third offense have a mandatory court appearance.
“Violations are a civil infraction, rather than a crime,
and are punishable by a $50 fine for the first offense,
a $100 fine for the second offense, and a mandatory
court appearance for the third and subsequent offenses. “
ORDINANCE NO. 2016-36
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ORLANDO, FLORIDA, RELATING TO THE POSSESSION OF CANNABIS AND CANNABIS PARAPHERNALIA; CREATING SECTION 43.95, ORLANDO CITY CODE, MAKING POSSESSION OF 20 GRAMS OR LESS OF CANNABIS A CITY CODE VIOLATION; FURTHER MAKING POSSESSION OF CERTAIN DRUG PARAPHERNALIA A CITY CODE VIOLATION; PROVIDING FOR CIVIL PENALTIES; PROVIDING LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS, AND FOR SEVERABILITY, CODIFICATION, CORRECTION OF SCRIVENER’S ERRORS, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, section 893.13(6)(b), Florida Statutes, makes it a misdemeanor of the first degree to be in actual or constructive possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis (marijuana); and
WHEREAS, section 893.147(1), Florida Statutes, makes it a misdemeanor of the first degree to possess with the intent to use drug paraphernalia as drug paraphernalia is defined at section 893.145, Florida Statutes; and
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Orlando, Florida (the “Orlando City Council”), hereby finds that existing criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and for the possession of drug paraphernalia used to administer marijuana, are often disproportionate to the severity of the offense; and
WHEREAS, the Orlando City Council hereby finds that civil penalties and procedures may be more commensurate with any social harm caused by the possession of small amounts of marijuana or the possession of marijuana paraphernalia; and
WHEREAS, the Orlando City Council hereby finds and declares that this ordinance is in the best interest of the public health, safety, and welfare; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ORLANDO, FLORIDA, AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. SEC. 43.95, CREATED. Section 43.95, Code of the City of Orlando, Florida, is hereby created to read as follows:
Sec. 43.95. – Possession of cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
a. Cannabis means all parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin. The term does not include “Iow-THC cannabis” and “medical cannabis” as defined by section 381.986. Florida Statutes.
b. Cannabis paraphernalia means any object used. intended for use. or designed for use. in ingesting. inhaling. smoking. or otherwise introducing cannabis into the human body. or any object used. intended for use. or designed for use. in storing. containing. concealing. or transporting cannabis.
(2) It is unlawful and a violation of this Code for any person to possess cannabis paraphernalia or 20 grams or less of cannabis.
(3) A person found in violation of possession of cannabis under subsection (2) may not also be found in violation of possession of cannabis paraphernalia under subsection (2) arising out of the same incident.
(4) Any person violating subsection (2) of this section may be issued a code citation pursuant to Article II. Chapter 5. of this Code. and shall. upon conviction. be punished as provided in Article II. Chapter 5. of this Code.
SECTION 2. SEC. 5.19, AMENDED. Section 5.19, Code of the City of Orlando, Florida, is hereby amended as follows:
Sec. 5.19. -Classes of Violations and Reduced Civil Penalties.
(1) Violations of city codes and ordinances, and the applicable reduced civil penalties, shall be as follows:
Reduced Civil Penalty
Violation Classifications First Offense Second Offense Third and Subsequent Offense
Class I $ 50.00 $100.00 Court Hearing Mandatory
According to the City Council Agenda, “Proposed ordinance #2016-36, relating to the possession of cannabis and cannabis paraphernalia. . . . Proposed ordinance #2016-36 would make possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana or possession of cannabis paraphernalia a city code violation. Violations are a civil infraction, rather than a crime, and are punishable by a $50 fine for the first offense, a $100 fine for the second offense, and a mandatory court appearance for the third and subsequent offenses. Under current state law, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana (or marijuana paraphernalia) is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, up to 1 year of probation, and a possibly life-long criminal record.”