Athens, Georgia on Cusp of Major Decriminalization Ordinance

Athens, Georgia on Cusp of Major Decriminalization Ordinance
High Times

The city of Athens, Georgia is on the brink of a significant drug reform, with the Athens-Clarke County Legislative Review Committee passing a measure that is being hailed as “Georgia’s most comprehensive marijuana decriminalization ordinance.” The ordinance, which was approved unanimously by the committee last week, “would reduce the penalties for possession of misdemeanor amounts of marijuana (defined as less than 28 grams) by making such infractions a 1$ fine,” according to Students for Sensible Drug Policy, which highlighted some of its advocacy efforts in Athens-Clarkes County in a blog post on Thursday. The group says it has been “lobbying Athens Clarke county to reduce penalties for cannabis possession” since 2017, and that it was ultimately “able to bring together community stakeholders and local officials before the legislative review committee to hatch out a plan of attack.” Once implemented, the ordinance would make “possessing under 28 grams of any marijuana product a civil infraction,” according to Students for Sensible Drug Policy, while also enshrining the “already common practices by the District Attorney and Athens Clarke County Police not to prosecute or arrest citizens; 19 other municipalities across Georgia have already passed similar ordinances. The ordinance will help Athens, the home of the University of Georgia, stand apart in a state that has been slow to embrace cannabis reform. After the vote by the committee last week, Raiden Washington, the University of Georgia Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter president said, that drug policy “that provides equitable access and harm reduction resources is a non-partisan issue.” “The Drug War has affected all communities across identity and political lines, whether that’s due to losing loved ones to overdoses or incarceration. It’s time we stand together for our entire community’s betterment,” Washington said. “The tools of the masters have been used by those…

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