Decriminalization of Cannabis has been around on the State level since the early 1970’s when Oregon lowered fines and removed the possibility for jail time for possession of small amounts. This of course beats large fines and going to jail but the tickets kept rolling in and there was still plenty of harm financially and concerning collateral consequences such as loss of Drivers Licenses and federal school grants and housing.
“Sensible Decriminalization” is distinguished from “regular” decriminalization by a very key difference of not just lowering the fines and consequences but rather removing them completely; No fines, no jail time and no court costs. This is a very key difference even over an ultra low fine like $5-$10. If there is any fine, the police will still issue tickets. With Sensible Decrim, the idea is that although Cannabis is still illegal, the incentive is removed for writing a ticket altogether and is considered very low priority. Think in terms of Jaywalking, which is very much technically illegal, however it is seen as such a low priority that Jaywalking Tickets are seldom, if ever written. This is exactly the result in a local municipality with a Sensible Decrim Ordinance, we see the priority shift away from small time Cannabis consumers.
This method is very effective and working on the local level, it allows regular citizens the ability to actually have success due to the smaller scale.