Tampa's new marijuana possession ordinance takes effect today.

The new ruling eases the punishment for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn signed the ordinance last month.

The new ruling would make possession of 20 grams of marijuana or less a civil citation.

A first offense under the new proposal would garner a $75 fine. The penalty goes up to $150 on the next infraction and then $300 and $450 for third and fourth violations.

Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a first degree misdemeanor.

Tampa police say people found with minimal amount of pot could still be subject to being handcuffed - and their marijuana will be confiscated. Also, residents could face other charges and arrest if they have unpaid citations or aren't eligible to be released on their own recognizance. 

The ordinance only applies to people age 18 and above.

Speaking previously about the ordinance, Buckhorn said it "doesn't make us any less anti-drug, but it's a realization that the penalties that have been imposed have done more damage to the trajectories of young peoples' lives than the offenses have warranted."