City lawmakers have approved municipal legislation reducing minor marijuana possession offenses to a $25 fine-only violation. The new policy took effect immediately after being signed into law by Mayor Lyda Krewson.
Under the policy, cannabis possession offenses involving up to 35 grams are classified as a municipal violation, punishable by no more than a $25 fine. Under the former citywide policy, potential fines amounted to as much as $500.00. Under state law, possessing between 10 and 35 grams of marijuana is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Since 2012, nearly 60 municipalities in states where cannabis remains criminalized have enacted local ordinances either partially or fully decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses. On Wednesday, local lawmakers in the city of South Fulton, Georgia enacted a similar decriminalization ordinance with regard to the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis. Atlanta lawmakers had approved a similar measure in October.