New Orleans City Council eases pot possession penalties

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SEATTLE, WA – APRIL 20: Two joints are displayed during a joint rolling class at Hempfest on April 20, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle Hempfest is an annual event for the purpose of educating the public about the benefits of marijuana and advocating for its decriminalization. (Photo by Meg Roussos/Getty Images)

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Soon if you’re caught with a small amount of pot in New Orleans you will not be arrested. The new standards were passed Thursday after the city council voted 7-0.

The ordinance will allow NOPD officers to write tickets for those caught with a personal stash of marijuana.

The fines would start at $40 for first-time offenders and be capped at $100.

Council members Susan Guidry and Jason Williams supported the idea as a way to free up police so they can pursue bigger crimes.

However, the new standards don’t legalize the drug it only lessens the penalty.

The ordinance still needs to be signed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

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