Before this week, if you were caught with an ounce or less of weed in the city of Atlanta, you faced a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. Now, after the Atlanta City Council unanimously passed legislation to decriminalize small amounts of bud, you will only face a $75 fine. No jail time. The vote to decriminalize weed in the ATL passed 15-0 and Mayor Kasim Reed is expected to sign the legislation.
This move will displace racial disparities in weed arrests. Between 2014 and 2016, 92% of those arrested for weed in Atlanta were Black people.”Reforming the racist marijuana laws on the book in Atlanta has been just one in a number of reforms that I have fought for,” said City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who was a sponsor of the legislation.
The new legislation also had the backing of the Atlanta Police Department, which will handle the new law similar to the way they do traffic tickets, with a citation.
However, it’s important to know that this new law only applies within the city limits of Atlanta. Everywhere outside of that in the state of Georgia still requires jail time for simple possession.