Following the lead of municipalities around the state, the City Council of Kingsland, Georgia, voted to approve a new ordinance to ease penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
“I’m glad to see the Kingsland City Council unanimously approve this ordinance. They join Clarkston, Atlanta, Savannah, Forest Park, South Fulton and Fulton County in enacting sensible marijuana ordinances here in Georgia,” said Tom McCain, executive director of Peachtree NORML.
Citing concerns of racial profiling and the effects of the black market regarding teen access and use, Councilman Mike McClain was one of the most vocal proponents during Monday’s meeting to discuss the proposal.
“There is a definite amount of racial profiling with the outdated law. We need to be on the right side of history, and I want to do the right thing,” said Mclain. “We are a small town, but we are not afraid of change when it goes to correctly police our community.”
As state lawmakers around the country continue to drag their feet on marijuana law reforms, municipalities are taking matters into their own hands. As a result, more than 50 localities in a dozen states have adopted municipal ordinances to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
“While they cannot change Georgia Law, they can indeed lower penalties for simple possession, and in doing so, send a message to the General Assembly that it needs to follow suit at the state-level,” added McCain.
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Author: Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director