Advocates vow to continue fighting after Memphis pot ordinance repealed

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Marijuana reform advocates were dealt a harsh blow in their efforts to ease restrictions in Memphis.

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam repealed an ordinance reducing pot penalties in both Nashville and Memphis.

Repealing the local marijuana ordinance is a step backwards in the eyes of some lawmakers.

However, some believe this will unify the law across the board when it comes to marijuana. 

The local law was passed in Memphis last year granting Memphis Police Department the option of handing out a $50 fine or community service rather than being arrested.

Some support the repeal of the local law.

"I just think the law is the law ... it's pretty simple," said resident Michael Gates.  

Others said it's the wrong decision, and smoking weed should not be a crime at all.

"Instead of it being lowered, why not it be abolished from the first place?" asked resident Francis Truman.

State lawmaker Antonio Parkinson said the decision by the state should have been left in the hands of the city.

"The local elected officials are closer to the people than we are at the state," Parkinson said. "It would have kept a lot of people out of jail, it would allow people to pay fines, allow people to keep their jobs."

Now, Parkinson said he will do what it takes on the state level to lessen the punishment connected to possession of marijuana.

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