Update: Atlanta council unanimously decriminalizes cannabis


Pictured: Councilman Kwanza Hall addresses his proposed bill to the public.

The Atlanta City Council unanimously passed legislation which effectively decriminalizes the possession of cannabis, after the council’s public safety committee submitted the legislation for consideration last month.

The measure reduced penalties for possession of 1 ounce or under to a $75 fine and no jail time. The city’s previous cannabis penalties required six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for the same amount.

The measure was introduced by Councilor Kwanza Hall and was later supported by the city’s mayor and police chief. It will take effect once signed by Mayor Kasim Reed.

“Today we stand with every parent of Atlanta who is fearful of or has seen their children’s lives destroyed, or careers ruined because of a racist policy that unjustly incarcerated minorities by more than [90] percent,” Hall said in a press release. “Reforming the racist marijuana laws on the book in Atlanta has been just one in a number of reforms that I have fought for.”