SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – In a nearly unanimous vote, Savannah City Council voted on Thursday to lessen the penalties for simple possession of marijuana within city limits.
The vote was not to discuss possible legalization of marijuana. The drug is still illegal in the state of Georgia.
Still, Alderman Van Johnson has been resolute in his pursuit to curb the fallout of marijuana arrests.
“It’s an opportunity to increase education, employment, housing,” he said.
His proposal included giving Savannah Police Officer the discretion to have a choice of giving someone a $150 fine with no jail time. Further punishment or actions like community service would be up to the discretion of a judge or an officer. In addition, he proposed that 20% of the fines be given to a local rehabilitation facility/organization to offset drug treatment costs.
“For those who have gotten caught, now it’s not a death sentence,” Johnson said. “That they don’t have an arrest record which sometimes can hurt them later on. We’ve all done things that we wish we had done better of when we got