The City of Atlanta has reduced the penalties for anyone carrying up to an ounce of weed.
Monday was a big day for weed enthusiasts living in Atlanta. According to multiple reports, the Atlanta City Council unanimously passed legislation that will reduce the penalties for anyone carrying up to an ounce of marijuana. The current law allows for a penalty of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail for anyone caught in possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana. With this new law being passed, the legislation would lower that to just a $75 ticket and no jail time at all, which is huge.
Councilman and mayoral candidate Kwanza Hall made the following statement about the law being passed… “Currently, we are seeing families torn apart. We’re seeing young people lose their scholarships, we’re seeing people become unemployable, all because of possession of less than an ounce. And primarily the neighborhoods, the zip codes, the people are people of color living in parts of our city that have been left behind, that have been neglected, and they are being penalized greater than anyone else.”
“Ninety-two percent of the people arrested for marijuana possession of less than an ounce and who are in our jail are African American, and that is wrong. We should be ashamed of ourselves, and we have to change this law immediately,” Hall continued. “We have the power in City Hall to do it right now. We are the governing body as City Council. I’m asking for that vote, and when we take that vote, it’s going to change the city forever.”
Hall said that possession of less than an ounce would just be a ticket. He argued that it would cost the city less by not wasting millions of dollars on incarcerating people, taking them through booking and going through court time. Hall also said that judges will have the discretion to add a steeper sentence for repeat offenders.
With this being said, there are plenty of rappers who are ecstatic about this new law being passed. Rappers like 2 Chainz, Killer Mike & Big Boi have already posted to Instagram Monday night celebrating their cities victory. Not just for themselves however, but for the young men in the city who wont go to jail for possession now. "Mannnnn this will save so many young people from bullshit charges that later haunt them," 2 Chainz captioned his post with.
Check out the posts from some of the ATL rappers who this directly effects (below).