The Flagler Public Safety Coordinating Council decides Wednesday whether to recommend the de-criminalization proposal, but the reactions from palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach have been discouraging.
A work group meeting Tuesday to craft an ordinance raised more questions and objections than showed agreement, though the proposal is still moving forward in a much narrower version, and has many hurdles yet to cross.
All of Flagler’s major law enforcement and government agencies agree that marijuana decriminalization for first-time offenders is a good idea. The county next will develop an ordinance all can agree on. That step may be more difficult.
Flagler Sheriff Jim Manfre and Public Defender Jim Purdy will craft a proposal to de-criminalize pot and move to a civil citation program. The proposal will first be vetted by the Public Safety Coordinating Council before heading for the county commission.
Following in the steps of three Florida counties and some 20 states, Sheriff Jim Manfre wants to replace criminal penalties for small amounts of pot with civil fines. State Attorney R.J. Larizza and county officials are willing to explore the new approach.