Oklahoma City's top police officer is hoping to reduce penalties for processing small amounts of marijuana.
The police chief says being less strict will actually make OKC safer, because officers will stay on the streets instead of processing a suspect into the jail.
“I’ve always thought for a long time that putting somebody in jail for minor marijuana possession was a probably a little bit excessive,” said Chief Bill Citty, who says the jail get more crowded under the current enforcement for marijuana possession.
Chief Citty’s plan calls for the fine to be reduced from $1,200 to $400.
Possession of drug paraphernalia would cost you $200, but you would not go to jail.
Instead, you’d be cited like you would be for a traffic ticket and be on your way.
Chief Citty said for years he's been working with attorneys and judges to come up with alternatives to putting someone in jail on a minor offense. He said the change in philosophy has already saved money because fewer people are being put in jail.
“It’s really a more fair way of holding people accountable, but that’s the key you have to hold someone accountable,” said Chief Citty.
City Council will host a public hearing on this proposal on September 11, and a final hearing September 25.