Clarkston Mayor seeks to decriminalize Marijuana

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on April 11, 2016.

The mayor of the city of Clarkston, Ted Terry has taken initiative to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. He said the City Council’s public safety committee will soon review whether to make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a ticket-only offense, putting it on the same level as a run-of-the-mill traffic violation.

Terry, also a vice chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, has appealed the elected officials to use evidence-based policies to make the people safer and fight drug abuse, saying the bottom line is the ‘war on drugs’ has failed and that the judicial system should be about serving justice.

 In 2015, as many as seventy people in Clarkston were sent to o jail for possessing marijuana. Terry points out that people are being picked up on low level non-violent marijuana offenses and having to go to jail and spend thousands of dollars with probation fees and fines.

“It makes sense we should create a system that wasn’t punitive.  We are talking about a policy to direct our police officer to treat the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana as a traffic ticket. ” Terry said.

The Mayor also expects the full council to bring the ordinance for marijuana legalization as early as May. However, he opines selling drugs, possession while committing other crimes and possession of other illicit drugs will not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, the Councilman Dean Moore has announced plans to introduce legislation to make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana a traffic offense with a fine of five dollars. Clarkston’s plan would lay out a fee schedule that could charge as little as $5 in Municipal Court for the first offense.

In US, at least 18 states and numerous cities including New York and Philadelphia have passed ordinances to make possessing small amounts of marijuana a noncriminal offense.

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