NewsChannel 5 | November 3, 2021
On November 3, 2021, NewsChannel 5’s Nick Beres interviewed Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk on his decision not to prosecute for possession of marijuana that is less than half an ounce.
Nick Beres: “We are back on Morning Line. Our guest this morning, Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk. It’s a pleasure having you on this morning. Thank you for coming. Of course, you made a lot of headlines and I think controversial. Though here in the state of Tennessee, I think a lot of people – if [it] would go to a referendum – I think we would pass legalizing medical marijuana, at the very least, like that.
“But you as a district attorney will not prosecute someone for less than half an ounce of marijuana if they’re arrested with it here in Davidson County unless it’s associated with some kind of violent crime or something along those lines. And though marijuana is still illegal in the state but not apparently less than half an ounce in Davidson County.”
District Attorney Glenn Funk: “Well, number one, marijuana laws do little to promote public health and even less to promote public safety.
“Looking at the statistics, there was a tremendous racial disparity on who was actually charged with marijuana prosecuted with marijuana incarcerated over literally less than half an ounce of marijuana.
“We’re trying to focus the resources of our office on violent crime. Now, while I say ‘Yeah, we’re not going to prosecute cases that are less than half an ounce of marijuana,’ if a case like that ever came across my desk – less than half an ounce charged with simple possession that implicated violent crime, that it was a part of violent crime or implicated public safety, sure. We’d evaluate the case on whether or not to go forward in that.
“I’ve been doing criminal laws either as a prosecutor or a defense attorney for 35 years, and I still hadn’t seen one.
“So, you know that’s where we stand. And it’s about resources. It’s about making sure that the system is fair, and it’s about trying to not give people narcotics convictions if it’s not really a threat to public safety.”
Nashville Scene | July 1, 2020
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