Atlanta Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

October 2, 2017

marijuana_gavelToday, Atlanta City Council voted to pass Ordinance 1700-1152, decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses. This measure amends the local law so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is punishable by a $75 fine — no arrest, jail time, or criminal arrest record.

Annually, over 30,000 Georgians — many of whom reside in Atlanta — are arrested and charged with violating marijuana possession laws. Those arrested and convicted face up to one-year in prison, a $1,000 fine under state law, or up to six months in jail under local statutes. National statistics indicate that African Americans are an estimated four times as likely as whites to be arrested for violating marijuana possession laws, despite using marijuana at rates similar to Caucasians.

“Court costs, the jail time, ruining young people’s lives, they lose their scholarships, it breaks up families, and it wastes our tax dollars. That’s the reason for doing this,” said Kwanza Hall, a city Councilman and candidate for Mayor.

With the passage of this measure, citizens of Atlanta no longer have to fear unnecessary jail time for possessing a drug that should not be illegal in the first place. However, because the law only applies to Atlanta city limits, it conflicts with the state law that calls for jail time and gives police leeway in deciding which law (state or city) should be enforced.

However, Atlanta has now joined the growing list of cities around the country that have adopted a more pragmatic approach for dealing with marijuana-related offenses on the local level. This new ordinance may not be perfect, but it is a victory nonetheless.

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  • A Freedom Fighter

    A good first step for Atlanta, now time to fully legalize!

    The US government’s stance on cannabis has always been a blatant bald faced lie! More proof comes out every day. The DEA “drug schedule” has absolutely nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with politics and government corruption.

    According to the DEA cannabis has no medical value and is more dangerous than Methamphetamine, Cocaine or Fentanyl!! Note also that Tobacco and Alcohol, (both far more dangerous than cannabis) are not even on the DEA drug schedule.

    * Schedule 1 (most dangerous drugs with no medical value):
    Heroin, LSD, Marijuana (cannabis), MDA (ecstasy)

    * Schedule 2 (supposedly less dangerous than cannabis):
    Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Dexedrine.

    * Schedule 3 (supposedly less dangerous than cannabis):
    Tylenol with codeine, Ketamine, Anabolic steroids, Testosterone.

    Now compare the DEA drug schedule with figures directly from the CDC on numbers of deaths per year in the USA:

    * Prescription Drugs: 237,485 + 5,000 traffic fatalities
    * Tobacco: 480,000
    * Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
    * Cocaine: 4,906
    * Heroin: 7,200
    * Aspirin: 466
    * Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
    * Marijuana: 0, none, not a single fatal toxic overdose and almost no history of traffic problems.

    So, which is safer???? Legalize, regulate, and TAX!


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