By Associated Press
(AP) — Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk announced on Wednesday that his office will no longer prosecute individuals for possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana.
“Marijuana charges do little to promote public health, and even less to promote public safety,” a news release explaining the decision said.
The new policy will benefit people who would otherwise have to deal with criminal charges and possible jail time with corresponding negative consequences to their employment and housing. That’s especially important since charges for minor marijuana offenses disproportionately impact minorities, according to the release.
The change is also expected to decrease court and jail costs.
“Proper allocation of the resources of the District Attorney’s office requires common sense and fairness. These resources must be devoted to supporting victims and prosecuting violent crime,” the release said.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper released a statement in support of the decision.
“We need to continue working to ensure that people have access to drug treatment and that we are doing everything we can to keep nonviolent young people out of the criminal justice system,” he said.
AP Photo/Steven Senne