When it comes to how to punish people caught with a small amount of marijuana, Fulton County is following the lead of Atlanta and the city of South Fulton. Offenders caught with less than an ounce of weed will no longer be punished with jail time.
The new law only applies to the unincorporated portion of the county, which is small. The county now has 15 cities, several which became incorporated in the last decade or so. The only remaining unincorporated section is a roughly two-mile stretch along Fulton Industrial Boulevard.
As of Wednesday’s vote, a person caught in that area with less than an ounce of marijuana will not go to jail. Instead, he or she will receive a ticket and will have to pay a fine.
That’s the same change the cities of Atlanta and South Fulton adopted to try to cut down on the jail population.
Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington Jr. introduced the proposal a few months ago. He says it doesn’t mean offenders are off the hook.
“They still have to get a citation. They still have to go to court,” said Arrington Jr. “They still have to answer for what they’ve done, but they are just not being arrested on sight. We believe that’s just a more sensible and humane way to handle this matter.”
The fine is $75 for a first offense.
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Photo: The Daily chronic