Decriminalizing Marijuana the Right Way

10:00 AM
11:15 AM


When a local city government asked our coalition to collaborate on a marijuana decriminalization ordinance, we first thought, “no, another step toward legalization!” We then consulted with our local and national marijuana prevention connections to help us consider the best approach. Decriminalization’s most well-known attributes (e.g., getting rid of jail time, lowering fines, etc.) can lower the number of people in jail for the short-term. Over time, those penalties can decrease marijuana’s perception of harm, which can increase marijuana usage rates. Policy experts and practitioners gave us other tools to incorporate, such as education programs, assessments for addiction, court appearances with parents and treatment referrals. Learn how we did it and next steps.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1) Know the differences between decriminalization and legalization

2) Understand the positive components to decriminalization that can lower future marijuana usage and addiction rates

3) Work with your coalition, counseling and treatment professionals, police department and local government to shepherd along this policy

31st Annual National Leadership Forum & SAMHSA's 17th Prevention Day


Michael Mumper
Director of Programs
Drug Free Fayette / Fayette FACTOR
Scott Gray
Police Chief
Fayetteville Police Department
Dana Stevens
Director of Local Affairs
Smart Approaches to Marijuana