Rallings against marijuana use despite city ordinance - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rallings against marijuana use despite city ordinance

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

The City of Memphis passed a marijuana ordinance to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, but its police director still doesn’t want people using it.

“I want young people to understand that marijuana is not legal,” Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said.

Rallings has been vocal and passionate about his opposition to the new ordinance since the first day, but he said he wants everyone to know the ordinance is not yet in effect and marijuana is still illegal in Tennessee.

“Do not drive around in your vehicle with any amounts of marijuana, don't have it in your pockets, because a police officer is going to enforce the law as it is written today,” Rallings said.

Rallings used MPD’s Facebook to share his feelings.

He said the city is working out the kinks and it may take some time.

"We still have a number of things to work out with the city court clerk’s office, the city courts, and the city prosecutors,” Rallings said.

When in effect, the measure says a police officer who comes across someone in possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana has the option of issuing a civil citation for $50 or community service instead of arresting the person.

“This ordinance gives officers an option other than enforcing the state charge for violation of simple possession or casual exchange of small amounts of marijuana,” Rallings said. “I'm going to encourage anyone, quit smoking weed. If you want to get a job, or keep your job.”

The city is still working on how they will move forward with the ordinance.

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