(SkyFinancialNews) – Florida state Rep. Shevin Jones (D) has taken a big leap towards state-level legalization of cannabis. Under a bill he introduced yesterday, possession of certain amounts of the plant would be decriminalized.
The bill, which will be considered during the 2020 legislative session, would move possession of 20 grams or less from misdemeanor to noncriminal violation. Jones said the bill is aimed to curb the disproportionate impact that current cannabis legislation has brought upon communities of color – as they are far likelier to be charged with possession than their white counterparts.
A member of the black community, Jones said that “when we look at those individuals who are being arrested for marijuana possession, well, they look like me”. He added that “we have to, as a state, look at the equity within our justice system. Some are jailed while others are given a slap on the wrist for the same crime. There should be parity here.”
On his Twitter account, he posted: “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”. He also attached a formal press release to the tweet.