Senate panel defeats Tennessee pot decriminalization bill

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A bill seeking to reduce the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana in Tennessee has been extinguished in a state Senate committee.

The Judiciary Committee voted 6-3 on Tuesday against the measure sponsored by Sen. Jeff Yarbro. The bill would have made possession of less than one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana a Class C misdemeanor punishably by a fine of no more than $50.

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Pot possession is currently a Class A misdemeanor that can be punished with up to nearly a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

The legislation was filed by Yarbro and Rep. Harold Love, a fellow Nashville Democrat, in response to a Republican bill to repeal any city ordinances to reduce the penalty for people who possess small amounts of marijuana.

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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