City of Atlanta Possession of Marijuana
Have you been charged with possession of Marijuana in the City of Atlanta (O.C.G.A. § 16-13-2 or City of Atlanta ordinance 106-82)?
In 2017 the City of Atlanta attempted to change how people are treated when they are arrested for possession of marijuana. The new information about the new law in Atlanta was handed down by various news media outlets (such as Atlanta Weed, Fortune and Atlanta Magazine). Other sites supporting legalization of weed ran large headlines stating that “there is no more jail time,” or that “the fine is only $75” or that “Atlanta officers will follow city ordinance for citations only.” Other reporting media sources (such as FOX and CBE) were more reserved about the possible outcomes and other potential consequences of a Marijuana charge in the City of Atlanta, and rightfully so.
First of all how the officer treats and charges you with the possession when it involves less than an ounce is entirely up to the officer himself. You MUST keep in mind that regardless of how its termed Weed, blunt or marijuana the drug still has not been legalized with the new law, it was ONLY marginally decriminalized under the City of Atlanta ordinance. Marijuana is still illegal in the State of Georgia. The Georgia Code covering possession of less than an ounce (O.C.G.A. § 16-13-2) still makes possession illegal and subject to the larger fine and jail time. In order for the new Atlanta ordinance provision to apply, you must be charged under the city ordinance itself on your citation. If your citation has Possession less than an ounce (16-13-2) then you are being charged under the state statute and the city ordinance doesn’t apply in your situation. This means that you are facing the harsher penalties!
What does all of this mean for your possession charges in the City of Atlanta? Again, it depends on how the officer treated your ticket/citation. The Atlanta Police Officers are not required to follow the city ordinance only, they CAN write, and nothing prevents them from writing, your citation under state statute for Possession of less than an ounce (under O.C.G.A. 16-13-2).
There is also a misconception that if “I was not arrested I must be charged under the city ordinance,” which isn’t necessarily true either. If the officer charged you under the state statute and didn’t arrest you, the Solicitor can resolve that issue by fingerprinting you once you are convicted at court OR can even have you fingerprinted when you appear in court for the first time on the charges.
Don’t take a chance with your charge. For a free consultation and evaluation of your Possession of Marijuana charges call our firm so you can mount a proper Defense for YOUR charges. Our Lawyers have the knowledge and skills YOU need for your defense.
Just because you have been charged with Possession of Marijuana in the City of Atlanta does not mean that you have to accept guilt, it means you need to hire a experienced attorney to mount a proper defense for your charges.
Our offices have a 24 hour response line (404-445-8494) and someone is available to answer your call and help. Call us now for a free case evaluation.
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City of Atlanta Possession of Marijuana Have you been charged with possession of Marijuana in the City of Atlanta (O.C.G.A. § 16-13-2 or City of Atlanta ordinance 106-82)? In 2017 the City of
Another metro Atlanta city decriminalizes marijuana possession
FILE – This Aug. 15, 2019 file photo shows a marijuana plant in an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. A survey released on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 says U.S. college students are using marijuana at the highest rates in 35 years. Marijuana use continues to be higher in college-age adults than any other age group. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — 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.
The DeKalb County city previously defaulted to state law for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, which is classified as a misdemeanor. Punishment under state law could be up to one year of jail time or a $1,000 fine. An ounce of marijuana can make up to about 40 joints, according to online resources.
“For me, this isn’t about whether smoking marijuana is right or wrong, it’s about preventing people from entering the criminal justice system and having their lives ruined over a simple possession charge,” said Brian Mock, the Chamblee councilman who proposed the change in city code.
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According to ReformGeorgia, a statewide advocacy group that tracks criminal justice reform issues, 10 other cities or counties have passed similar ordinances, including some large municipalities like Atlanta, Savannah and Macon-Bibb County. Clarkston was the first city in the state to pass a decriminalization law in 2016.
“This is indicative of the broader change of attitude throughout the state that we do not need to be locking up individuals because of minor drug violations, especially for marijuana, and that the state needs to take comprehensive measures to protect all Georgians from needless entry into Georgia’s already crowded criminal justice system,” Maxwell Ruppersburg, the group’s executive director, said in a statement about Chamblee’s ordinance.
Studies have shown that black and Latino people are more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, though usage is about the same across racial groups, experts say.
Mock said the change in the law will also save the city time and money.
“It takes a lot of manpower to arrest, transport, process and detain a prisoner, not to mention the court process to follow,” he said.
Municipal rules can’t impact every case involving weed. If someone is charged with marijuana possession on top of a more serious criminal offense, the case has to go to state court and the defendant would be subject to the harsher penalties.
This article was written by J.D. Capelouto, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to ReformGeorgia, these are the 11 cities and counties in Georgia that have decriminalized the possession of marijuana:
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.