Recently, I wrote about how Palm Beach County Sheriff, Ric Bradshaw, has put the brakes on that county’s civil citation law for minor marijuana possession. Residents of neighboring Broward County have also yet to see the implementation of the civil citation law passed in that county.
Nearly six months have passed since the Broward County Commission passed a law making possession of less than 20 grams of pot a civil violation with a small fine, however the system for issuing those citations has remained mired in bureaucratic red tape and delays since then. In the meantime, 332 people have been arrested for pot possession and another 414 have been given notices to appear in court on criminal possession charges.
County representatives have blamed the delay on the necessity of setting up a new system for issuing the citations, handling receiving the payments, and addressing appeals from those cited. While some time is expected to be necessary for setting up a new program, it is questionable that nearly six months would be necessary to implement a relatively simple and straight forward law.
To the south, Miami-Dade county already has its civil citation program up and running and over 1,000 citations have been issued. The citizens of Broward county (and Palm Beach county) deserve to receive the benefit of this new legal trend and the delays (and outright obstruction in the case of Palm Beach) need to stop.