By Anthony Martinelli

A Nashville measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis has received initial approval from the Metro City Council. The vote was 32 to 4.

Under the proposed law, the possession of up to a half an ounce of cannabis would no longer result in a criminal charge or jail time, instead being reduced to a $50 civil penalty or 10 hours community service. Under current law the possession of even one gram of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.

The measure – introduced by Councilmember Dave Rosenberg – must be approved through two more readings before being being sent to Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

Nashville is the capital of Tennessee with a population of around 630,000.

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