The Nashville District Attorney’s Office has announced it will no longer prosecute people for possession of less than half of an ounce of marijuana effective today.
District Attorney Glenn Funk says marijuana charges do “little to promote public health, and even less to promote public safety.” He says they disproportionately impact minorities in the city.
“For individuals, policy will eliminate the negative effects of a criminal charge which include potential jail time and collateral consequences on employment and housing,” Funk said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
The move comes as arrests and citations for marijuana are falling. So far this year, only 278 people have been charged with simple possession — compared to 2,130 as recently as 2017.
But the share of those charged who are Black is rising. About 74% of those arrested or cited this year are Black, nearly three times their share of the population.