Is politics playing role in revival of marijuana ordinance in At - CBS46 News

Is politics playing role in revival of marijuana ordinance in Atlanta?

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Atlanta city councilman and mayoral candidate Kwanza Hall is calling for a vote on a stalled proposal on the decriminalization of marijuana and some are saying his urgency may be politically motivated.

Earlier this year, Hall proposed legislation that would drop the fine for possession of an ounce of marijuana or less to $75, down from the current $1,000. The proposal would also keep the offender out of jail.

"In Atlanta and in Fulton County, 93 percent of the arrests for small amounts of marijuana are the arrests of African-Americans, that is the most biased rate of arrests in the country," said Hall. "It's not easy to convince a majority of 8 to 10 people and ideally a majority to agree to do something."

Fellow mayoral candidate Vincent Fort also supports the ordinance. Back in April, Mayor Kasim Reed said he's conflicted about the debate, believing marijuana is a gateway drug but also saying it's a tool to disproportionately impact the poor and people of color.

CBS46 asked councilman Hall if a victory on the ordinance would in-turn boost his popularity in the polls. Hall told CBS46 that he was just dong his job.

"There's nothing wrong with doing your job, and this is something we didn't start a few weeks ago, we started last year," said Hall.  

Hall wants a committee vote on the proposal on September 27 and a council vote on October 2. 

CBS46 wants to know what you think. Are you in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana (less than 1 ounce) in Atlanta? Vote in our online poll!

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