West Palm Beach commissioners will consider changing the penalty for marijuana possession Monday evening.
Currently, anyone caught with 20 grams or less can be charged with a misdemeanor. The proposed ordinance that’s up for discussion would change the punishment to a civil penalty.
Under the changes, anyone caught with a small amount of the drug would be required to pay a fine, but it wouldn’t be put on his or her record.
The city cites in its meeting agenda an ACLU report, stating that a misdemeanor drug charge can hurt people’s chances of obtaining jobs, student financial aid, public housing and immigration status.
It also notes that the majority of people arrested for marijuana position are in their teens or 20s.
If the proposal makes it past its first reading Monday evening, the city plans to hold a public hearing.