Pubdate: Sun, 23 Apr 2017
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)
Copyright: 2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Author: Leon Stafford


Atlanta wants to join a growing number of U.S. cities that are
lowering the penalties for small amounts of marijuana use.

But leaders learned last week that getting there won't be

The City Council sent legislation meant to lower fines and eliminate
jail time for possession of an ounce or less of pot back to a
committee last week after members had a host of questions. Chief among
their concerns was whether there was buy-in from the Atlanta Police
Department and city courts, two groups whose backing would be crucial
to making such a plan work. Elected officials also fear that being too
lenient would take away the deterrent of marijuana use.

"I don't see this as being the antidote to that," said Councilman
Michael Julian Bond.

But as more cities and states move closer to acceptance of marijuana -
once among the top illegal drug in the crosshairs of the nation's "War
on Drugs" - Atlanta is taking baby steps toward policy changes that
some say is inevitable.
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