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Atlanta Lawmakers Want to Decriminalize Marijuana

Atlanta may soon be added to a growing list of U.S. cities that have decriminalized marijuana.

According to AL.com, the City Council unanimously passed legislation that decriminalizes small amounts of the drug, and Mayor Kasim Reed announced that he would sign it.

Though the legislation doesn’t legalize possession and use of the drug, it lessens penalties associated with it. The previous law fined those found with an ounce or less of weed up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

The new law wipes away jail time and reduces the fine to $75.

City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who sponsored the measure, said the vote passed 15-0.

“Reforming the racist marijuana laws on the book in Atlanta has been just one in a number of reforms that I have fought for,” Hall told FOX 5.

He also disclosed that between 2014 and 2016, 92 percent of those arrested for possession of the drug within the city’s limits were Black.

The Atlanta Police Department also backed the measure and said the new law would be handled with a citation similar to that of a traffic ticket.

While residents in Atlanta are safe, Georgia state law still requires jail time.

In recent years, Dallas, St. Louis, Pittsburg, Kansas City and Nashville have passed legislation regarding their marijuana laws, changing penalties for possessions of small amounts.

 

 

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