Cocoa Beach officials vote to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana

Officials in Cocoa Beach have authorized police to issue civil citations -- if officers deem fit -- to suspects caught with 20 grams of marijuana or less, according to Florida Today.

This change comes through a 3-2 vote by city officials. Malik, Vice Mayor Ed Martinez and Mike Miller reportedly voted yes, while Skip Williams and Karalyn Woulas voted no.

Cocoa Beach began considering decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana in February. However, last week, Florida Today stated that the Cocoa Beach City Commission approved the marijuana ordinance's final reading before a crowd. The ordinance creates a citation process to punish people caught with small amounts of cannabis or drug paraphernalia. 

Other parts of Florida have already adopted similar marijuana ordinances, including in Alachua, Miami-Dade, Osceola, Palm Beach and Volusia counties.

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Before this ordinance, it was a first-degree misdemeanor to possess drug paraphernalia or 20 grams or less of cannabis. Punishment was up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine per Florida statue.