Get caught in Hallandale Beach with up to 20 grams of marijuana, and you may be looking at a $100 civil fine instead of criminal charges.
Following the lead of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County, Hallandale Beach city commissioners are expected to give initial approval to the new law Wednesday night.
City Commissioner Keith London won quick support from his colleagues after pitching the idea in June. Should the measure pass, Hallandale Beach might be the first city in Broward County to pass such a measure.
This week, London said he wanted to get minor pot offenses out of the criminal system. Right now, people caught with small amounts of weed or drug paraphernalia can be sent to jail alongside violent criminals, London said.
"To put nonviolent [drug users] in jail with violent felons is not going to solve our problems," he said. "That's why I'm doing this."
Others considering easing the penalty for pot possession include Wilton Manors and West Palm Beach, Broward County and Palm Beach County.
Broward commissioners are expected to take up the issue after they return from their summer break on Aug. 11.
If the proposal wins approval in Hallandale Beach, cops would still have the option of charging anyone with a misdemeanor if they're caught with 20 grams of marijuana or less — enough for 10 to 20 joints, depending on size.
Currently, such a charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail.
Last year, Hallandale Beach approved a plan to allow adults charged with any nonviolent misdemeanor — including possession of minor amounts of marijuana — to enter a misdemeanor diversion program requiring them to seek counseling and pay a $500 fine.
London's proposal takes things a step further.
The trend to decriminalize minor marijuana possession has taken hold throughout the nation.
So far, 14 states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of weed. Oregon, Alaska, Colorado and Washington allow its recreational use. And many other states permit its use for medicinal purposes.
"The war on drugs has been a complete and uttermost failure," London said. "We need a new approach. And other parts of the country have taken a different approach."