State Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, filed legislation Monday that would decriminalize possession of certain amounts of marijuana in Florida, a bill that could be a longshot in the Republican-dominated Legislature.
“We must restore justice to our broken criminal justice system. For far too long, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana, and we must end this injustice once and for all,” Jones said in a prepared statement.
The proposal (HB 25), is filed for the 2020 legislative session, which starts in January.
Happy to introduce my first bill of the 2020 legislative session! Making our communities equitable and safer starts with ensuring that people have a fair shot. Floridians need reform of cannabis laws, and we will make sure we end the injustice of overcriminalization. #WEthePEOPLE pic.twitter.com/0L79ENpRhH— Shevrin “Shev” Jones (@ShevrinJones) August 5, 2019
If passed, the measure would reduce criminal penalties for possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis, and products that contain 600 milligrams or less of euphoria-inducing THC.
Jones’ proposal also specifies that juveniles arrested for possession of certain amounts of cannabis would be eligible for civil citations or pre-arrest diversion programs. “After being charged with possession, many Floridians feel the lasting impact as their student financial aid, employment opportunities, housing eligibility, or immigration status are adversely affected,” Jones said in the statement.
Jones is sponsoring the bill as he runs for the Senate in 2020 to try to replace term-limited Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens.