Atlanta Mayor Signs Decriminalization Ordinance Into Law

Atlanta Mayor Signs Decriminalization Ordinance Into Law

PIxabay / Ace Spencer / CC0 Creative Commons

On Oct. 10, 2017, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed signed into law Ordinance 17-O-1152, an ordinance that reduces the penalties for simple marijuana possession. Under the new ordinance, marijuana possession of up to one ounce will be reduced from a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail to a $75 fine and no jail time.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there was initially confusion over whether Reed actually signed the ordinance into law because of a confusing tweet that was sent out early in the morning on Oct. 11.

“Good morning #Atlanta. We received an email overnight that the Mayor VETOED our marijuana legislation for less than one ounce. More to come,” read a tweet by the Atlanta City Council.

Within less than an hour the post was removed and a correction was posted, but by then confusion had already set it. Taking to Twitter, Reed issued a clarification, blaming both journalists and City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, who hopes to replace Reed as mayor.

“Look at the source folks. It’s just another political stunt by the Ceaser Mitchell & the AJC,” Reed wrote in a tweet.

To quash any lingering confusion, Reed later posted a picture of himself signing the ordinance into law.

“We should all thank the Mayor for his willingness to sign this ordinance into law. But most of all, I want to thank the people who spoke out and told their stories of families destroyed and lives ruined – it was the people who pushed this reform through,” said councilman Kwanza Hall in a press release.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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