Savannah’s new, controversial marijuana ordinance goes into effect on July 1, and police officers are getting trained on how to implement the new law.

Leaders want police as well as citizens to be aware of the new law now — so there’s no confusion later.

According to the ordinance, if a person is found in possession of less than an ounce of pot, a Savannah police officer has the option to issue a ticket of up to $150. 

Right now, Savannah Police Department officers are being trained on how to apply the law. Officers must take a web-based training course prior to July 1 and will receive additional training in the future.

And as city leaders say, it’s important for citizens to understand the new law too.

“It’s just understanding that the officer does have discretion as it relates to this, that they have the opportunity to understand what the state marijuana law is and what the ordinance is,” said Savannah Alderman Van Johnson. “They still have the ability to arrest if they feel they need to, but in they also have the opportunity to write it as a city ordinance a violation.”

The new marijuana ordinance only applies within Savannah’s city limits.