Does the city's new ordinance regarding first-time marijuana possession give the judge any ability to reduce the minimum $200 fine that the ordinance calls for?
Yes. The ordinance allows the judge to reduce the fine if there are "substantial and compelling" reasons. Some examples cited by the city's legal staff include the financial status of the defendant, the amount of marijuana possessed, the lack of a criminal history, the voluntary completion of a drug treatment program and the defendant's level of cooperation with law enforcement. The ordinance, though, doesn't require the judge to reduce the fine if any of the conditions are met.