STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - Statesboro Police just finished their first three months under a new ordinance that keeps some misdemeanor marijuana possession suspects from going to jail.
Three months in to the new policy, Statesboro’s police chief says it’s accomplishing what the mayor and council wanted it to do.
As of March 31, Statesboro Police had seen 82 cases of misdemeanor marijuana possession, which means less than an ounce. The chief says 26 of those got a citation alone and 56 got arrested. He says those 56 either had additional charges that got them sent to jail, or outstanding warrants. He contends those 26 defendants still faced a hefty fine and other punishment, but it’s not something that will follow them for years.
“It’s an effort to keep you from getting a criminal record - one time,” said Chief Mike Broadhead, Statesboro PD. “It’s based on circumstances. We allow the officers some discretion based on the circumstances.”
The chief says someone who is cited over and over will likely get arrested, but this ordinance frees up officers to handle violent cases and leave the citations to the courts.
The ordinance only applies in the city of Statesboro. University Police, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, or other agencies could still arrest you for possession.