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.
[continues 51 words]
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."
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.
[continues 54 words]
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.
[continues 61 words]
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.
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.
[continues 79 words]
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.
[continues 78 words]
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.
[continues 1334 words]