Under current Georgia law, individuals found in possession of an amount of marijuana under an ounce face up to a six month jail sentence and up to $1,000 in fees. Ordinance 17-O-1152 would removed the potential for a jail sentence and reduce the maximum fine for individuals with less than an ounce to $75.
According to the Foundation for Economic Education, 92 percent of marijuana arrest come from the black community.
The bill was introduced in March by council member Kwanza Hall.
“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 following the bill’s passage Monday.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed still needs to sign the bill but said on twitter he intended to.
— Kasim Reed (@KasimReed) October 2, 2017
Marijuana is still illegal under Georgia state law meaning meaning individuals found in possession outside of Atlanta could still face jail time.