Did Atlanta Decriminalize Marijuana Possession or Not?
Some confusion earlier this morning through social media initially suggested that Mayor Reed had vetoed the measure.
Published on October 11, 2017

Although an early morning Twitter post by the Atlanta City Council suggested that the proposed ordinance to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana throughout the city had been “vetoed” by Mayor Kasin Reed, the mayor’s office has since confirmed that this is untrue.

On Wednesday morning, the council tweeted “Good morning #Atlanta. We received an email overnight that the Mayor VETOED our marijuana legislation for less than once ounce. More to come.”

Less than an hour later, the council recanted its original Tweet, saying that they were ill informed and that the mayor had not made the decision to veto the decriminalize bill.

A separate Tweet from the council suggests that someone in the office confused the matter and that the mayor’s veto was actually for a proposal designed to sell off land in the town of Hapeville.

"Apparently our new over-zealous social media person tweeted the wrong thing, Atlanta City Council Communication employee Tony Gomez told NBC News.

Earlier this morning, Mayor Reeds's director of communications confirmed with CBS News that the mayor did not veto the measure pertaining to the city’s marijuana laws.

"He didn’t (veto the ordinance). It’s mind boggling to see how irresponsible every station has been this morning. A tweet with no source, no confirmation, nothing and it gets reported as real news."

The propose ordinance, which was designed to eliminate the criminal penalties associated with small time pot offenses, was introduced earlier this year by Councilman Kwanza Hall but it failed to gain the necessary traction to move forward.

However, Hall applied some pressure to the council last month, which resulted in the ordinance meeting approval in a unanimous vote of 15-to-0. The mayor was given eight days to either sign or veto the measure.

Aside from all the confusion this morning, it does appear that Mayor Reed has sided with marijuana decriminalization.

MERRY JANE received a press release this morning from the office of Councilman Hall indicating that the mayor had, in fact, signed the marijuana decriminalization ordinance into law.

“While this is a significant step forward for all of Atlanta, and especially parents who fear their children may be jailed for what used to be an unjust marijuana law, it was also just a common-sense reform,” Hall said in a statement. “We should all thank the Mayor for his willingness to sign this ordinance into law. But most of all, I want to thank the people who spoke out and told their stories of families destroyed and lives ruined – it was the people who pushed this reform through.”

The new law allows officers with the Atlanta Police Department to handle small time pot offenders with a $75 ticket rather than dragging them to jail.

Mike Adams
Mike Adams is a contributing writer for MERRY JANE. He also writes for High Times Magazine and Cannabis Now. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on
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