The Chamblee City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize possession of 1 ounce of marijuana or less. Now local law enforcement will only issue a citation. The fine for a first offense is just $75.
For a first offense, no court appearance is required if the fine is paid online, WSBTV 2 News reports. Chamblee is located inside DeKalb County that still follows the rules of state law. Decriminalizing marijuana will save the jurisdiction money.
Councilman Brian Mock said, “For me, this isn’t about whether smoking marijuana is right or wrong, it’s about preventing people from entering the criminal justice system and having their lives ruined over a simple possession charge.”
If marijuana possession is attached to additional and/or more serious crimes, that case will have to go to court and follow the normal course of the criminal justice system.
Regarding saving the city money, Mock said, “It takes a lot of manpower to arrest, transport, process and detain a prisoner, not to mention the court process to follow.”