On Oct. 2, the Atlanta City Council took to Twitter to announce their unanimous decision on the most hopeful pro-marijuana legislation to date: penalties lowered for marijuana possession of under an ounce.
Marijuana advocates rejoiced when Mayor Kasim Reed backed the legislation following its announcement, but the standing implications of the state’s marijuana laws were apparent against the City of Atlanta’s ordinance.
Those laws require law enforcement to incarcerate individuals found with marijuana and confiscate their possessions as seen fit to the incident of arrest. The penalty of carrying less than one ounce of marijuana is decided by judges, reaching a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
Jailhouse blue (dreamin’)
Atlanta Municipal Courts mirrored that even after the Oct. 2 decision, and despite severely reduced fines, people are still going to go to jail for possessing marijuana even under an ounce.
So, what exactly does the new city legislation mean?
It does not make possessing marijuana legal. Selling or possessing any amount of marijuana is still against the law everywhere. Under the new city ordinance,