Stonecrest, Georgia Decriminalizes Low-Level Cannabis Possession

The city of Stonecrest, Georgia voted to decriminalize the possession of an ounce or less of cannabis, eschewing jail time for fines of $100.

Full story after the jump.

The city of Stonecrest, Georgia on Monday decriminalized cannabis possession by adults following a unanimous vote to approve the reforms by the city council, FOX 5 reports. Those caught with an ounce or less of cannabis will only get a citation and a $100 fine. 

Mayor Jazzmin Cobble said the new ordinance will reduce the number of people incarcerated for low-level cannabis possession. The Municipal Court of Stonecrest, which backed the reforms, said the enforcement of possession laws “has fallen disproportionately on certain subsets of the population.” 

“The City of Stonecrest remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of all residents and visitors. This ordinance does not legalize the possession of marijuana in Stonecrest. It eliminates jail time as the only option of penalty and reduces the fines for individuals found guilty of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana.” — Cobble via FOX 5 

Earlier this month, Commissioners in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia approved an ordinance to reduce the penalty for possession of less than an ounce of cannabis to a $35 fine, which is the lowest in the state. Other municipalities, including Atlanta, Savannah, Macon-Bibb, Statesboro, Tybee Island, Clarkston, Chamblee, Forest Park, Kingsland, and South Fulton have also enacted measures to decriminalize cannabis possession, eschewing jail time for fines between $75 to $500.   

In May, Chatham County District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones said she will no longer prosecute cannabis possession cases dealing with less than one ounce or test small amounts of cannabis unless other felony charges are involved.  

Cannabis possession remains outlawed under state law. The state does have a medical cannabis program.  

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