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Atlanta Decriminalizes Marijuana

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The Atlanta City Council unanimously passed legislation this week that decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he will sign the legislation, which doesn’t legalize the drug but lessens penalties associated with it. Under the old law, people found with an ounce or less of pot faced a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. Now, violators would face a fine of $75 and no jail time.

City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who sponsored the measure, said the vote passed 15-0.

City Councilman Hall said between 2014 and 2016, 92 percent of those arrested for marijuana possession within Atlanta city limits were black.

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