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1US GA: Mayor Wants To Restrict Access To Pot RecordsTue, 17 Dec 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Kass, Arielle Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2019

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wants to restrict public access to people's criminal records for convictions of less than an ounce of marijuana - an executive action announced Monday that she said was "in keeping with our commitment to meaningful criminal justice reform."

The administrative order requires city officials - specifically the chief operating officer, city attorney, solicitor and chief judge of the Municipal Court - to establish a standard process by which people can apply to have those court records made off-limits to everyone except law enforcement by Feb. 1.

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2US GA: Lower Penalties For Pot A Growing MovementSun, 13 Oct 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Capelouto, J. D. Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/13/2019

A shot glass emblazoned with a marijuana leaf is up for sale. Jackpot prizes include pure hemp rolling paper. Nearby, groups of people enjoy drinks and dinner while chatting about why weed should be decriminalized and legalized in Georgia.

Thaddeus Willis, a Gwinnett County resident and Air Force veteran, has heard about the push to lessen the penalty for possessing small amounts of weed in Georgia.

"That's the first step," said Willis, enjoying chicken Parmesan and a soda at the monthly meeting for Peachtree NORML, a pro-marijuana advocacy group. Eventually, he said, "It needs to be made legal here."

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3US GA: Charging Dealers In OD's FeasibleSun, 13 Oct 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Capelouto, J. D. Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/13/2019

There may be some hurdles, but there is legal standing for the murder prosecution of a DeKalb County man who allegedly sold drugs to a 22-year-old who later fatally overdosed, local experts said.

The case against Antoin Thornton, 28, is believed to be the first of its kind for DeKalb. Thornton allegedly sold heroin to Alexander Whitehead, who was found dead at a Dunwoody apartment complex in March. Police said the drugs, laced with the potent opioid fentanyl, caused the overdose.

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4US GA: City To Decriminalize Pot PossessionThu, 19 Sep 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Capelouto, J. D. Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/19/2019

The city of Chamblee is the 11th local government in Georgia to decriminalize the possession of marijuana.

The City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday night eliminating the possibility of jail time and severely reducing the fine for possessing one ounce or less of weed. An adult caught with marijuana by a Chamblee police officer will be cited and fined $75 for their first offense, according to the ordinance. That charge can be paid online and a court date isn't required.

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5US GA: Column: Legalized Marijuana And A Democratic Time MachineSun, 28 Jul 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Galloway, Jim Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/30/2019

No doubt there is such a thing as ideological drift in politics, especially in primaries. Candidates often become unmoored and move right or left in a search for their party's most ardent activists.

But sometimes this drift isn't ideological. It's generational.

Last week, Teresa Tomlinson rolled out a package of policies she would pursue if she succeeds in her quest to replace U.S. Sen. David Perdue next year. One of them was something of a surprise.

"It is time we address at the federal level the decriminalization, legalization, and regulation of marijuana as a medicinal and recreational substance," the Democrat posted on her website.

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6US GA: Marijuana Decriminalization Push Rolls Into Another MetroMon, 22 Jul 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Capelouto, J. D. Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:07/22/2019

It's been about three years since one DeKalb County city made history with the most liberal marijuana enforcement policy in the state. Since then, several more municipalities have followed suit, eliminating the possibility of jail time and severely reducing the fine for possessing one ounce or less of weed.

Months after the state Legislature passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana sales, the push toward recreational decriminalization on the local level is continuing; the city of Chamblee is currently considering a measure that echoes the rules in Clarkston, which passed its marijuana ordinance in July 2016.

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7US GA: Seized 'Drug Houses' To Be RefurbishedTue, 28 May 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Habersham, Raisa Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:05/28/2019

By day, Dill Avenue is a relatively quiet street: a few residents walk their dogs or ride a bike and mostly keep to themselves. It wasn't always this way.

Fulton County officials have seized a "notorious drug house" with the plan to renovate it and eventually sell it to a low-income family.

For the past six years, the house at 730 Dill Avenue, located in the Capitol View community, has been the site of drug use and violent crime, including a stabbing and a killing, according to online police records. Atlanta police have received numerous complaints about the derelict property, some of which resulted in nine search warrants.

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8US GA: A Complete Failure Of The SystemWed, 02 Jan 2019
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Sharpe, Joshua Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:01/04/2019

Dasha Fincher said she was borrowing a friend's car when she noticed a half-eaten bag of blue cotton candy in the floorboard. It was the kind kids like to buy from gas stations near her Macon home. She thought little of it until a few minutes later when it became the biggest problem in her life.

On New Year's Eve 2016, Monroe County deputies pulled the car over for a suspected window-tint violation and spotted the bag. They used a quick roadside test kit on the blue stuff and got a positive result for methamphetamine. Fincher ended up charged with trafficking meth and held in jail for three months on a breathtaking $1 million cash bond before a lab test found the "meth" was really just cotton candy, according to a lawsuit.

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