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Atlanta City Council Considers Marijuana Legislation

Council members listen to advocates argue for and against decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Council members listen to advocates argue for and against decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Credit Miranda Hawkins / WABE

Atlanta is Georgia’s largest city. But it has at least one thing in common with one of the state’s smallest cities: Clarkston.

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Both city governments have the discretion to decide how to charge people who are caught with less than an ounce of marijuana.

Clarkston is the first city in Georgia to lower the penalty to just a citation similar to a traffic ticket.

“I think we have to do something,” said Council member Ivory Young.  ”The whole issue around marijuana is a lot simpler, less difficult than we’re making it.”

Instead of jail time, Council members are considering mirroring Clarkston’s new law by making the penalty a fine. They’re also talking about  community service.

Council plans another work session on the issue next month.