MOBILE, AL (WKRG) — The ordinance that would decriminalize possessing small amounts of marijuana by issuing a citation instead of an arrest appears to be on hold in the City of Mobile.
Mayor Sandy Stimpson has requested that the UNTCC ordinance be withdrawn from the Mobile City Council’s agenda for Tuesday. An exact reason for the withdrawal is unknown at this time.
The proposal would change how officers handle marijuana possession and several other minor offenses in Mobile. Under the ordinance, a Uniform Non-Traffic Citation and Complaint (UNTCC) would be issued at the discretion of the City, forgoing a formal arrest and potential trip to jail. There is no quantity of marijuana listed in the law.
The UNTCC ordinance has been a controversial topic since being introduced by Stimpson, most notably due to how one defines the term “decriminalization.” Mayor Stimpson, Public Safety Director James Barber, and other city staff members have repeatedly insisted that the ordinance does not “decriminalize” marijuana, as some interpret the term as eliminating all penalties from marijuana possession.
However many cities across the country have passed similar ordinances to bypass the arrest process and instead issue tickets for minor criminal offenses. It’s been labeled as “decriminalization” for the lessening of arrests and trips to jail.
The future of the ordinance remains in question after Stimpson announced his request to withdraw it from Tuesday’s meeting.
You can read our original story here: http://wkrg.com/2017/05/15/mayor-stimpson-seeks-to-decriminalize-marijuana-possession/