Possession of less than 28 grams of marijuana in the State of Georgia is a crime, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. If Atlanta mayoral candidate (and current Georgia State Senator) Vincent Fort has his way, personal marijuana possession will be treated as an infraction instead of a crime once he is in charge. I have never been to Georgia, but if there’s one thing that I know about Georgia, it’s that Sharon Ravert with Peachtree NORML is out fighting for freedom.
I’m not sure the context in which the letter was received, but Sharon posted on Facebook today correspondence that she had received from Vincent Fort that was very cool. I thought it was worth passing along. If you live in Atlanta and support sensible marijuana policy, I suggest you do what you can to support the Vincent Fort campaign. The election will be held on November 7, 2017. Below is the correspondence I was referring to:
As the great physicist Isaac Newton explained, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Here in Atlanta, we too stand on the shoulders of giants. Every bit of progress we make today is only possible because of the work done by those who came before us — like the determination of the courageous black women who led the Washerwoman’s Strike here in 1881. The resilience of the brave men and women who striked against segregated streetcars through the 1890s. The folks involved in Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which is based here in Atlanta too.
They gave us every opportunity we have today, and left us with only one simple request: to continue the work they started, and keep pushing forward to justice.
It is with these giants in mind, and because of the opportunities they afford us, that I come to you this evening, to talk with you about the fatal flaws within our criminal justice system.
I believe it is unacceptable that in the civil rights capital of the world, we are losing a generation of young people of color to arrests for possession of marijuana. I believe it is repugnant that Fulton County, once known for leading the fight for racial justice, now has one of the highest instances of racial disparities for these arrests in the country. I believe it is immoral and unethical for this city to spend our tax dollars locking kids up instead of lifting them out of this vicious cycle of poverty. And I believe that is it no coincidence that a WSB-TV report last year that found 93 percent of Atlanta’s marijuana possession arrests were African-Americans.
I’m running for Mayor of Atlanta because I believe we need to return to the courage and spirit that made this city the civil rights capital of the world. Join our insurgent campaign now by chipping in a contribution of whatever is meaningful to you: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/fort_dec2016…
According to the ACLU, marijuana arrests costs Georgians an estimated $310 million in tax dollars every year. But that’s not the only price we pay. The mass incarceration of people of color for marijuana is the entry point to the revolving door of the prison pipeline that ruins not only one life, but entire generations of families forever. These are bright young people we’re locking away, these are folks with real potential that we are labeling as “criminals” for life.
And who loses out when these kids don’t have the opportunity to grow up to be all that they can be? We all do. Our city as a whole loses out, for generations.
The best recourse our city has is its citizens. Atlanta has amongst the highest concentration of people of color getting a four year degree in the nation. We cannot put our best and brightest in jeopardy anymore. We can no longer turn a blind eye to this issue. To do nothing would be a slap in the face to the giants who gave their lives so that we might one day see true equality and justice for all.
Join our revolutionary campaign to reform our justice system and decriminalize marijuana in Atlanta by chipping in a grassroots contribution today. https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/fort_dec2016…
Together, we can continue the legacy of revolution and justice we are so proud of here in Atlanta, and transform our city into one that works for the all of the people, not just the powerful.
Thank you for standing alongside me on the shoulders of such great giants.
Senator Vincent Fort
Candidate for Mayor of Atlanta——-
Paid for by Vincent Fort for Atlanta
image via GAFollowers.com