Just like Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami Beach has passed an ordinance permitting officers to issue a non-criminal citation that carries a fine of $100 for the offense of possession of marijuana instead of issuing a Promise To Appear (PTA) - a criminal citation - or physically arresting the accused.
Again, just like with the County ordinance, officers MAY exercise their discretion. They do not have to. If you are found with marijuana on Miami Beach, police are well within their right to issue a PTA, which is the functional equivalent of an arrest and will leave you with a criminal record, or make a physical arrest and take you to jail.
It is advised that you do not test the boundaries of this new ordinance. We have yet to see how frequently officers will exercise their discretion not to charge a person with a crime.
Eric Matheny is a Miami possession of marijuana lawyer and Broward possession of marijuana lawyer.