Ordinance to lessen penalties for marijuana passes unanimously

ATLANTA — Atlanta City Council unanimously passed legislation that would reduce the penalties for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana on Monday afternoon.

Councilman Kwanza Hall introduced the legislation in March.

The current law allows for a penalty of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail for anyone caught in possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana. The new legislation would lower that to just a $75 ticket and no jail time.


Mayor Reed now has eight calendar days to sign or veto the legislation. However, it can go into effect without his signature.

Council members said the focus now turns to making sure people are informed about the law.

"In fact, what I've said is I don't want blood on my hands. I don't want some college kid to think they are within their rights to posses marijuana in Atlanta, get arrested, resist arrest and, God forbid, the worst happens," Councilwoman Keisha Lance-Bottoms said.

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