NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Legislature has passed a bill that would bar cities in Tennessee from decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.
If the governor signs the bill, it will strike down laws in Memphis and Nashville that give police the discretion to write civil citations for people who have small amounts of cannabis.
The bill passed in the Senate Monday evening after impassioned debate on both sides of the issue.
Sen. Lee Harris, a Democrat from Memphis, pleaded with fellow lawmakers to vote against the bill, saying that more people will likely wind up behind bars if it becomes law.
Sen. Jack Johnson, a Republican from Franklin who sponsored the measure, said cities couldn’t simply decide which state laws they will enforce and which ones they won’t.