In a 15-0 vote today, the full Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to make possession of under 1 oz of marijuana a maximum $75 fine with no jail time as opposed to a previous maximum of six months in jail and a $1000 fine. This comes on the heels of the #DecrimAtlanta movement, spearheaded by Peachtree NORML and the late James Bell of GA Care Project. Atlanta will follow in the footsteps of Clarkson GA on this city decriminalization ordinance.
AllOnGeorgia spoke with Tom McCain, executive Director of Peachtree NORML regarding the importance of the ordinance passage to Peachtree NORML’s statewide efforts. “The passage of this ordinance sends a strong message to the General Assembly. It strengthens Peachtree NORML’s position under the Gold Dome. I expect it to reverberate in the 2018 legislative session as both the House and Senate hear proposed legislation to do the same state-wide”.
Similar ordinances have been tried in other cities across Georgia as well. Temple Georgia was one of those cities. The ordinance would fail in Temple after a wild town hall meeting which made headlines across the state. Penny Ransom was the councilwoman in Temple who proposed the ordinance there. When asked for her thoughts she exclaimed “I know James Bell is smiling”.
The passage of this ordinance affects City of Atlanta police officers. Georgia State Troopers, Capitol Police, Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputies and others who have concurrent jurisdiction with Atlanta Police would not be affected by this ordinance.