Mirroring policies passed by the City of Clarkston, Ann Arbor, Detroit, and New Orleans, the City of Atlanta is considering whether or not to decriminalize marijuana possession inside city limits.
The council is scheduled to meet Monday morning and could cast a vote as early as the scheduled regular meeting.
The new ordinance would mean that anyone who is caught possessing an ounce or less of marijuana in the City of Atlanta, a ticket would be issued instead of an arrest with a high misdemeanor fine. The ordinance proposes a $75 fine.
Georgia’s law as it is currently on the books allows for a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
The trend to issue citations instead of opting for arrests has been under the directive to reduce crowding in jails.
CBS46 reports that “black residents make up 76 percent of those incarcerated for marijuana offenses in Georgia. That’s compared to 21 percent of white men. Between 2014 and 2016, 92 percent of those arrested for possession in Atlanta were African-American, 85 percent of which were men.”
The vocal opposition to the ordinance says a YES vote will mean people think it is oka to do drugs in the Atlanta, specifically a drug considered to be a gateway drug to more serious substances.