Fargo Police will give out tickets for small amounts of pot, rather than arresting and booking offendersFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Fargo Police plan to start giving out tickets for small amounts of pot, rather than arresting and booking the offenders.
By: Becky Parker, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Fargo Police plan to start giving out tickets for small amounts of pot, rather than arresting and booking the offenders.
Many states - including Minnesota - already handle small-amounts of pot this way.
Police say the response to the news has been mostly positive, though a few in the community worry that it minimizes drug use.
Fargo Police write tickets on a daily basis, for speeding, texting, seatbelt violations.
Now, add marijuana possession.
Under a new city ordinance, the department plans to write citations for Cass County residents caught with a small amount of pot - small meaning half an ounce or less.
Right now, they have to make an arrest and drive the person to the jail to be booked.
Lt. Joel Vettel/Fargo Police Department: "It's cumbersome and this way we can get those resources back on the streets and streamline the process."
Feedback on our Facebook page was mostly positive.
"About time that Fargo gets with the current times," says one viewer.
Another chimes in, "I think it will save time and money."
Criminal justice student, Katie Leloux says it might also free up some time for the local jail.
Leloux: "I volunteer there sometimes and they are pretty busy."
But she thinks repeat offenders should be punished more severely.
Leloux: "I think it's great for those who are first time offenders, but after awhile I don't think it would work. Kind of a slap on the wrist."
Possession of small amounts of marijuana are a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a 1500-dollar fine.
Vettel: "Some look at it like it's minimizing drug use, but that's not the case. It's really all about efficiency."
Lt. Joel Vettel says he wouldn't be surprised if this practice is adopted on a statewide level next legislative session.