September 28,2017 Atlanta
Cannabis possession is on the verge of being decriminalized in Atlanta. A decriminalization bill that was passed in Atlanta was approved by the Public Safety Committee of the Atlanta City Council. It has now been forwarded and awaits the decision of the full city council.
This bill was proposed by Kwanza Hall—City Councilman—earlier this year in March. It talks about the reduction in the penalty that people face for the possession of cannabis amounts lesser than an ounce. Kwanza proposes that if anything, the penalty for the possession of such meager amounts of cannabis should be $75. In addition, there should be no jail time involved.
This might seem harsh as it is, but considering what the penalties are at the moment, the proposed decriminalization bill brings quite a bit of reduction. As per the current law, anyone caught with cannabis is subject to six months of jail time in addition to fines that could go up to a thousand dollars.
Kwanza Hall. who is also the potential upcoming mayor of Atlanta, is doing a great favor to this city. He believes that such low-level crimes related to cannabis should not be taking up the court’s time, which could be used to resolve several other serious matters.
In an interview, he revealed that 93% of the total arrests that were made for the possession of meager amounts of cannabis involved African-Americans. The point Kwanza raised was that racism is also a matter of concern while dealing with these crimes. He called these cannabis-related arrests “the most biased rate of arrests in the country.”
The City Councilman is not the only person who sides with the bill. Joseph Spillane, police chief from the Georgia State University, also supports the proposed bill. He told the news that many of his officers handle cases related to the possession of cannabis on campus on a frequent basis. Joseph said that he needs to give the people citations prior to actually going on to arrest them.
While that happens, Kasim Reed—the acting mayor of Atlanta—is not on board with the legalization of cannabis. He thinks of cannabis as a gateway drug. He conflicts with his own belief by also saying that prohibiting cannabis will only lead to impacting the minorities and the poor in a highly disproportionate manner.
Let’s just hope the bill proposed by Kwanza becomes a law. If it gets passed by the full city council, it will move onto the desk of Mayor Reed. He will then have a period of eight days to decide whether to veto the bill or sign it and make it part of the law.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]