Atlanta Decriminalizes Pot in Small Amount Leads to Confusion

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Ever since Oregon became the first American state to decriminalize marijuana in 1973, many other states and cities have followed it over the last four decades. The latest to join the league is the city of Atlanta, where Mayor Kasim Reed signed the city council ordinance decriminalizing marijuana on Oct. 11, 2017. Not to be mistaken with legalization, marijuana remains an illicit drug in the eyes of the federal government.

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www.arizonadrugaddictionhelpline.com Atlanta Decriminalizes Pot in Small Amount But Move Leads to Confusion Ever since Oregon became the first American state to decriminalize marijuana in 1973 many other states and cities have followed it over the last four decades. The latest to join the league is the city of Atlanta where Mayor Kasim Reed signed the city council ordinance decriminalizing marijuana on Oct. 11 2017. Not to be mistaken with legalization marijuana remains an illicit drug in the eyes of the federal government. Technically “decriminalization of marijuana” means that the possession of pot can no more result in a heavy fine and imprisonment. However one has no authority to buy grow or sell the substance without proper legalization of marijuana. In the case of Atlanta the city council had unanimously decided to decriminalize the drug earlier in the month lowering the amount of fine for the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. The legislation is also meant to do away with imprisonment of those caught with the weed. The Atlanta City Council’s move accepted by a resounding 15-0 vote comes as a measure to abrogate the disparate policing and discriminations practiced while the enforcement of drug laws. If reports are to be believed the earlier laws led to the biased and prejudiced arrest of several African Americans forming 92 percent of those arrested for marijuana possession between 2014 and 2016. With the decriminalization of marijuana in Atlanta the penalty for pot possession of one ounce or less has been reduced from 1000 to a nominal 75. However these legislative changes in drug laws have opened a Pandora’s box with a number of critics and sceptics raising an eyebrow over their effectiveness. They fear that drug traffickers chronic users and youngsters can misuse the new norms. They feel these legislative changes pose an increased risk of spiking marijuana abuse for self-medication and recreational purposes. Decriminalization does not mean legalization

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www.arizonadrugaddictionhelpline.com Atlanta is the capital city of Georgia a state that has already legalized marijuana for medical purposes about two years ago. Beyond the vicinity of Atlanta city the penalty for pot possession entails a jail term of six months and fines up to 1000. Now a municipal judge has the option of lesser punishment i.e. only a 75 fine and no imprisonment. Unlike states like Alaska California and Massachusetts to name a few where marijuana is approved for both recreational and medical use the fact still remains that in the Atlanta city marijuana is an illicit drug that cannot be legally bought cultivated or marketed. Moreover the decision to implement the city ordinance or the state law will depend upon the discretion of the police officer and the ultimate ruling will depend on the court. In all circumstances the state law will not apply without a specific reason. The entire objective is to reduce the number of incarcerated people for minor crimes and concentrate such resources on major crimes such as robbery rape murder etc. While marijuana has not been legalized in almost half the U.S. states as many have taken the stand to decriminalize the drug or tolerate its use for medical consumption. Some states have also gone against their decision to decriminalize marijuana. For instance Memphis and Nashville cities in Tennessee had voted to loosen the laws around the drug however Governor Bill Haslam ratified a bill that repealed those policies in September 2016. Possessing pot is still a crime The ongoing debate on the legality and utility of marijuana has drawn attention of both young and old. As it remains a Schedule I drug marijuana is associated with various physical and psychological problems. It is as also linked with the decline of cognitive functions. Since its medical benefits do not outweigh the adverse effects it is better to stay away from this substance notoriously labeled as a “gateway drug.” If you or your loved one is battling an addiction to marijuana or any other illicit drug you must seek professional help immediately. The Arizona Drug Addiction Helpline assists in accessing the finest addiction treatment centers in Arizona that specialize in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-576-4147 to know more about the treatment programs for addiction.

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