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Politics

GOP lawmaker seeks law to ban marijuana decriminalization

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker has filed a bill to repeal any city ordinances that would reduce the penalty for people who possess small amounts of marijuana.

The Tennessean reports (http://tnne.ws/2kRYEGD ) that House Criminal Justice Chairman William Lamberth of Gallatin filed the bill that would override ordinances passed last year in Nashville and Memphis.

The bill follows an opinion issued by state Attorney General Herbert Slatery last year that the marijuana decriminalization ordinances conflict with state law, specifically the Tennessee Drug Control Act of 1989.

In response, two Nashville Democrats, Rep. Harold Love and Sen. Jeff Yarbro, proposed their own bill seeking to reduce the penalty for simple marijuana possession in all of Tennessee — from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor that would be punishable by a fine of $50 or less.