The Atlanta City Council will meet Monday and will consider a proposal to reduce the penalty for marijuana possession to a simple fine.
City Councilmember Kwanza Hall, a mayoral candidate, has been pushing to reduce penalties. Currently anyone possessing less than an ounce of marijuana faces a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. If the City Council approves Hall’s proposal, it will be a maximum fine of $75 and no jail time.
Hall said the change in the law will reduce racially biased policing practices.
“It’s unconscionable,” Hall said in a press release. “If the experts tell us that people of all colors here in Atlanta use marijuana at the same rates, then why are more than 90 percent of those locked up for possession of it black? This is about putting an end to racially biased policing and making sure our young people are not unfairly being targeted and penalized.”
Hall is hosting a rally in support of the measure on Sept. 29 in front of the Atlanta Detention Center, located at 254 Peachtree Street SW, at 10 a.m.
The City Council meeting will be held on Oct. 2 starting with a Committee on Council briefing at 9 a.m. The full council meeting will start at 1 p.m. It will be held at City Council Chambers, located at 55 Trinity Ave SW Atlanta, Georgia 30303. All meetings are open to the public.