Fayetteville tweaks marijuana penalties again

Fayetteville's new marijuana ordinance is meant to replace jail time with fines and substance abuse prevention and treatment options. Courtesy City of Fayetteville
Fayetteville's new marijuana ordinance is meant to replace jail time with fines and substance abuse prevention and treatment options. Courtesy City of Fayetteville

Credit: Courtesy City of Fayetteville

Credit: Courtesy City of Fayetteville

Fayetteville has again revised its ordinance regarding marijuana possession, after realizing that the original language reduced penalties in some cases. Following the City Council’s unanimous approval on Feb. 18, anyone under 21 possessing an ounce or less will pay a $125 fine and appear in court (with a parent if under 18) for the first offense, attend an eight-hour substance abuse prevention program and be assessed for a cannabis use disorder, with referral to treatment if necessary. Second and third offenses within 365 days will incur a $250 and $500 fine, respectively, also with assessments and referrals; any further infractions would result in another $500 fine.

Adults over 21 are subject to the $125 fine for the first offense but no court appearance; substance abuse classes, assessments and referrals would be ordered, along with the higher fines, for subsequent offenses within a year. No one of any age would be subject to jail time for simple possession.

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