Atlanta cannabis decriminalization bill awaits city council approval


The Atlanta City Council’s public safety committee recently approved a bill which would decriminalize cannabis possession within city borders.

The bill aims to reduce the possession to a $75 fine with no jail time. The existing penalty for possessing less than an ounce of cannabis can lead to six months in jail and fines up to $1,000.

Councilman Kwanza Hall who introduced the bill in March said the prosecution of low-level cannabis crimes is a complete waste of civic funds which can have crushing effects on those arrested, from court costs to jail time.

Georgia State University police chief Joseph Spillane voiced his support for decriminalization and said his officers would benefit from issuing citations to offenders instead of arresting them.

The bill will be forwarded to the city council, and if approved, the mayor will have eight days to sign it into law or veto it.