Nashville City council proposes change to marijuana law

Published: Monday, August 15th, 2016
Written by: Amanda Gentry


Under TN Law currently, possession of a half ounce or less of marijuana is punished by up to 1 year in jail and up to a $2500 dollar fine, but a recently sponsored bill in the Metro City Council of Nashville is looking to change that.

The new proposal puts the penalty at a $50 fine maximum for up to one half ounce (14 grams), which can be suspended and given up to 10 hours community service. The bill isn’t perfect, local police actually complained that it took away an officers discretion to not charge someone if they chose not to, which if reworded to “may charge with $50” it might be better in some ways, but also might be a route to try to circumvent the will of the Metro City Council and charge with a much more difficult set of rules under the state law rather than the local if they choose to. The Tennessean has more coverage here on the Metro Nashville proposed change to Marijuana Law.

Other rules such as this exist and are currently in force, a good example would be that the state law on littering is more strict than the local ordinance, and the Metro Nashville Police are under city rules.

This could create some confusing circumstances where people are given different rules based on who pulls them over also, depending on if it was a Metro Nashville Police officer or if it was a TN State Highway patrol officer.

A change statewide overall could help to focus police workloads on other criminal activities, and reduce workloads so that situations like the one in Manchester TN the other day where 270 out of town cases were heard in one day would be less common. (more on this later here’s a link to the DNJ story)

TL;DR: Nashville may reduce penalties for simple possession of Marijuana from 1 year and a 2500 dollar maximum to $50 and 10 hours maximum, but it’s still being worked out.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a Marijuana possession in Nashville, at Bonaroo or surrounding areas and you’re in need of a free consultation with a qualified attorney, contact the Law Office of Amanda J. Gentry at (615) 604-6263, or fill our out contact form.