City council issues correction | Mayor did not veto legislation to decriminalize marijuana

Authorities erroneously released an alert about vetoing a marijuana bill that was actually signed into law.

NEW DEVELOPMENT | Atlanta mayor signs ordinance to decriminalize marijuana

ATLANTA -- In a tweet sent out by Atlanta City Council at 6:06 a.m. they announced that Mayor Kasim Reed vetoed the legislation that would have decriminalized marijuana.

It read "Good morning #Atlanta. We received an email overnight that the Mayor VETOED our marijuana legislation for less than one ounce. More to come."

Nearly an hour later at 6:53 a.m., the City Council sent another tweet recalling their first saying that the mayor did not veto marijuana legislation.

 

According to Atlanta City Council Communications employee Tony Gomez,

"Apparently our new over-zealous social media person tweeted the wrong thing".

It appears the legislation that was attached to the email that confused the unnamed employee was actually about selling land in Hapeville, Ga, not the marijuana ordnance. 

The mayor has until midnight on Wednesday Oct. 11 to sign the marijuana ordinance or it would automatically become law. The Atlanta City Council voted to decriminalize  the drug in a unanimous decision on Monday on Oct. 2. 

Kasim Reed tweeted 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie that the tweets were "another political stunt."

 

 

This is what to know about the vote and how it impacts weed-related arrests moving forward.

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE VOTE

After the 15-0 vote from the City Council, the proposed ordinance went to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to either sign or veto the legislation. He had eight days to make the decision.

After the vote, Reed indicated that he was interested in signing the legislation. In a tweet, he thanked council members for their "leadership on marijuana reform."

There was optimism throughout the city council that Reed would sign the legislation. 11Alive reached out to Reed's team learn why he decided to veto.

When we hear back, we will update the story. Download the 11Alive app and turn on notifications to be the first to know.

WEED IS NOT LEGAL IN ATLANTA

A vote to decriminalize is not a vote for legalization. Marijuana is still very illegal in the city of Atlanta.  The decriminalization vote proposed a change to the way people are prosecuted after being found in possession marijuana within the city limits of Atlanta.

It would not have changed the way DUI's are prosecuted.

► INVESTIGATION |  Drivers arrested while stone-cold sober

WHAT THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE CHANGES

It took imprisonment off the books for people caught with less than an ounce of the illegal drug.  The ordinance would have also reduced any potential fine to a maximum of $75. 

Punishment would essentially become a citation, similar to a traffic ticket.

Under current law, possession of marijuana within the city of Atlanta is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for a period of up to six months. 

► RELATED | Read the ordinance

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