Atlanta Council Committee Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

A city council committee in Atlanta has approved a measure that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The ordinance, which would decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of cannabis, was given approval today by the city council’s Public Safety Committee. Under the proposed law possessing less than an ounce of marijuana would carry a maximum fine of $75. Under current law possessing even a gram is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or an $1,000 fine.

“Court costs, the jail time, ruining young peoples lives, they lose their scholarships, it breaks up families, and it wastes our tax dollars. That’s the reason for doing this,” says City Councilmember Kwanza Hall, who’s also a mayoral candidate. Former Senator Vincent Fort, another mayoral candidate, also recently announced his support for decriminalizing marijuana.

“In Atlanta and in Fulton County, 93 percent of the arrests for small amounts of marijuana are the arrests of African-Americans,” Councilmember Hall told local WGCL-TV earlier this month. Hall called this “the most biased rate of arrests in the country.”

The measure will now be sent to a vote by the full city council; if approved, Mayor Kasim Reed will have eight days to sign it into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature. It’s unclear at this point what Reed would do; he’s opposed to legalizing marijuana, calling it a “gateway drug”, but has also said he believes marijuana prohibition is a tool used  to discriminate against minorities and the poor

2 comments

    • Teresa Nichols on September 30, 2017 at 11:47 am
    • Reply

    I meant decriminalize and legalized marijuana I posted the post above and accidentally posted a word incorrectly it should have said decriminalize decriminalize decriminalize. Legalize marijuana legalize marijuana legalize marijuana and prohibition on marijuana. I live in Georgia I believe it should be legal

    • Teresa Nichols on September 30, 2017 at 11:44 am
    • Reply

    Marijuana is a 100% natural plant it should be legal 100% it is not a gateway to anything like dr. Oz said if anything it is an exit way to opiates abuse. I agree with the criminalizing marijuana and legalizing it. I live in Cartersville Georgia Bartow County I agree with legalizing marijuana.

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