Athens, Georgia on Cusp of Main Decriminalization Ordinance


Town of Athens, Georgia is getting ready to a big drug reform, with the Athens-Clarke County Legislative Evaluation Committee passing a measure that’s being hailed as “Georgia’s most complete marijuana decriminalization ordinance.”

The ordinance, which was accepted unanimously by the committee final week, “would cut back the penalties for possession of misdemeanor quantities of marijuana (outlined as lower than 28 grams) by making such infractions a 1$ positive,” in line with College students for Smart Drug Coverage, which highlighted a few of its advocacy efforts in Athens-Clarkes County in a blog post on Thursday.

The group says it has been “lobbying Athens Clarke county to scale back penalties for hashish possession” since 2017, and that it was finally “in a position to deliver collectively group stakeholders and native officers earlier than the legislative overview committee to hatch out a plan of assault.”

As soon as applied, the ordinance would make “possessing underneath 28 grams of any marijuana product a civil infraction,” in line with College students for Smart Drug Coverage, whereas additionally enshrining the “already frequent practices by the District Legal professional and Athens Clarke County Police to not prosecute or arrest residents; 19 different municipalities throughout Georgia have already handed related ordinances.

The ordinance will assist Athens, the house of the College of Georgia, stand aside in a state that has been gradual to embrace hashish reform.

After the vote by the committee final week, Raiden Washington, the College of Georgia College students for Smart Drug Coverage chapter president mentioned, that drug coverage “that gives equitable entry and hurt discount assets is a non-partisan challenge.”

“The Drug Battle has affected all communities throughout id and political traces, whether or not that’s resulting from shedding family members to overdoses or incarceration. It’s time we stand collectively for our total group’s betterment,” Washington mentioned. “The instruments of the masters have been utilized by those that are oppressed.”

College students for Smart Drug Coverage famous that Georgia is “certainly one of solely 19 states that also imposes jail time for easy possession of marijuana, and certainly one of solely 13 that lacks a compassionate medical hashish legislation.”

“The criminalization of drug possession fuels the US and Georgian mass criminalization system. GA has 183 jails in 159 counties. Georgia’’s complete county jail inhabitants in 2019 was 45,340. There have been 420,000 individuals on probation within the state,” Jeremy Sharp, SSDP’s South Jap Regional Director, wrote within the weblog submit on Thursday. “There have been 54,113 individuals underneath the jurisdiction of the GA Dept of Corrections in 34 state and personal detention facilities. The GA Division of Corrections had a employees of 9,169 staff and a price range of $1,205,012,739. 1 in 20 Georgians are on probation, parole, in Jail, or underneath some kind of supervision. The nationwide common is 1 and 99. Personal probation is an offender-funded system. Personal corporations with state or native contracts are allowed to cost people on probation with all types of additional charges and surcharges that far exceed their court docket fines. Failure to pay these charges can characterize a violation of probation and danger re-entry into incarceration. Georgia has an extended historical past of oppressive authorized mechanisms used to disenfranchise.”

The shortage of entry to medicinal hashish within the state has been significantly irritating for advocates.

Lawmakers in Georgia legalized the remedy again in 2015 by passing the Haleigh’s Hope Act, which permitted qualifying sufferers to obtain hashish oil containing not more than 5% THC. However seven years after the invoice’s passage, these sufferers nonetheless are unable to legally entry the oil.

A invoice that sought to vary that failed within the Georgia state senate this spring.

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