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Georgia City Seeks to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Another Georgia city has taken the initial steps to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. South Fulton’s mayor pro-tem, Mark Baker, sponsored the legislation.

According to Mayor Baker, the consequences of being arrested with less than an ounce have additional impacts, WTKR 3 News reports. Fines will be imposed and that money will help pay for treatment programs. A majority of those in South Fulton favor following in Atlanta’s footsteps with decriminalization.

Mayor Baker said, “Statistics show that 92-percent of the arrests in Atlanta metro have been African-American people for less than an ounce of marijuana. We’re a new city but we’re progressive and we’re just trying to be on the right side of history. These arrests may affect and impact them in several different ways when it comes to checking the box regarding employment, scholarship, student loans, financial aid.”

Baker continued, “We’re right on the outskirts (of Atlanta). You cross I-285 into Cascade and you’re thinking you’re in Atlanta. If we don’t have this law in place, you’re not getting charged $75, or actually $150 over here. But at the same time, you could have six months plus a $1,000 jail fine just by crossing borders of a Union City or College Park.”

The proposal still requires final approval. Possession of marijuana remains illegal, but those caught with less than an ounce would receive a $150 fine and no jail time.