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Gov. David Ige allows decriminalization for small quantities of pot

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Gov. David Ige says it was a tough call, but he will allow a bill that would decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana to become law. The measure will take effect on Jan. 11, 2020.

House Bill 1383 will eliminate any criminal penalties for possession of three grams of pot or less, and will make possession of those small amounts of marijuana punishable by fines of no more than $130.

Ige told reporters today “that was a very tough call. I did go back and forth on decriminalization of marijuana.” For one thing, Ige said law enforcement officials tell him that three grams is such a small amount of pot that “essentially they will proceed the way they always have.”

Ige said he also wanted to see provisions in the bill that would help to steer young people who are using marijuana into treatment programs to help them deal with their substance abuse issues, but lawmakers did not include that language in the bill.

Ige opposed bills this year that would have legalized of marijuana for recreational use.

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