City in DeKalb County wants to decriminalize marijuana

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A DeKalb County city wants to go easier on those caught with a small amount of marijuana. Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry wants to change the way the city deals with people caught with less than an ounce of pot.

Right now the minimum fine is $660. The city wants to drop that fine to as little as $5. That is about the fine one would have to pay for a parking ticket.

“In the case of under an ounce, it’s a big revenue generator for a lot of local governments. We don’t want to be punitive with our punishment,” said Mayor Terry.

The Mayor said less than an ounce of pot is not a serious crime, but it is a public health issue.

Chip Morris is the CEO of “A Strong Hand UP” which is an offender education company. He said the city needs to go one step further. Morris said in addition to a tiny fine, they need to add class time.

“An awareness class where they go for three hours and learn about the Georgia law and the health impact for smoking marijuana,” said Morris.

Mayor Terry said the city will make a decision soon. He said there may be a special meeting called when the full council will vote on the ordinance before the end of the month.