People caught with small amounts of marijuana could soon get a civil citation instead of a jail term in Florida's largest county, which may become the first in the state to treat marijuana possession as a non-criminal act.

The Miami-Dade County Commission is considering a proposal to let police issue $100 civil citations for possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana. The offense would no longer be a misdemeanor.

County Commissioner Sally Heyman said her measure seeks to spare people a criminal record and would reduce the economic burden on the criminal justice system.

Paul Armentano is deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He says similar laws have already been enacted in 14 states.