The City of South Fulton has voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, officials confirm.
In a Tuesday vote 5-3, council members passed the proposal that would decriminalize the plant within the new city.
The legislation, sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Mark Baker, does not legalize marijuana use. Rather, it would only subject those found with less than a ounce to a $150 maximum fine.
In his proposal, Baker said enforcement of the law prohibiting marijuana “has been inequitable and has fallen disproportionately on certain subsets of the population.” The city council wants to facilitate equity, it said.
Officials say half the money collected in fines would go to alcohol and drug rehabilitation and prevention programs meant to “benefit city residents.”
The City of South Fulton isn’t the only metro area community that’s decided to relax its laws against marijuana. In October 2017, the Atlanta City Council unanimously voted to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce. The ordinance, originally proposed by then-councilman Kwanza Hall, took away prison as a punishment and reduced any potential fine to a maximum of $75.
The idea has also been floated in other parts of Fulton County known as the Fulton Industrial District, and two bills introduced in mid-February to the House and Senate proposed easing penalties for possession state-wide.