Success: Marijuana Decriminalized in Major City

Target: Orlando City Council Commissioner Robert Stuart

Goal: Praise the decriminalization of marijuana, which will help to end the mass incarceration of nonviolent offenders.

The Orlando City Council has voted to approve an ordinance for the decriminalization of marijuana. This is a huge step toward ending the incarceration of nonviolent offenders in the United States. No longer will the city of Orlando be imprisoning individuals for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

The ordinance includes fines for possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana. For the first offense, a $100 fine will be levied. The second offense will come with a $200 fine and the third will require an appearance in court with a possible $500 fine included. Offenders can also opt out of paying their fine and instead perform 8 hours of community service or attend a drug seminar.

It is an encouraging sign that city officials have chosen to legislate with the interests of the public in mind. There has been considerable support for the decriminalization ordinance both in Orlando and outside the city, as evidenced in this previous ForceChange petition.

Historically, the individuals who have been arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana were disproportionately people of color. Orlando’s move to decriminalize marijuana will thus help right the racially-biased wrongs of past policing efforts in the city. Furthermore, it will put less emphasis on punishing drug users and more emphasis on treating them with dignity.

Sign the petition below to applaud Orlando City Council Commissioner Robert Stuart for approving a vote to decriminalize marijuana in his city.


Dear Commissioner Stuart,

Thank you for approving the Orlando City Council’s vote to decriminalize marijuana in your city. This is a major step forward for the de-incarceration movement in America.

The tide is turning away from imprisonment in this country, and for good reason. Arresting nonviolent offenders is foolish and has often come with racist undertones.

You have stood by your duty to the people of Orlando by passing legislation that reflects their desires and that will be ultimately beneficial to their collective well-being. This is commendable in a political atmosphere which sees elected officials continually fall short of meaningful legislative action.

Thank you once again for approving the council’s vote to decriminalize marijuana in your city.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Bob Doran

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