CLARKSTON, Ga. -- On Tuesday, elected officials in Clarkston voted to add several new progressive laws to the city's books.
Officials approved a measure that would mandate election day as a half-day holiday. They also opted to raise the minimum wage for city employees to $15 per hour, almost three times Georgia's official rate of $5.15 an hour, and nearly twice the federal average of $7.25.
But the big measure that passed was an ordinance that would dramatically reduce the punishment for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
With the new rules, a person who possessed one ounce or less of the drug would only receive a fine of $75 with no arrest. Clarkston's desire for less stringent marijuana laws has been well-documented. Many city council members have been vocal about changing the laws surrounding the drugs.
Councilman Dean Moore told 11Alive's Jeremy Campbell in April that he believed being arrested for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana would be damaging.
“You’re marginalized. You can’t get a job because you have an arrest,” he said.
One measure that did not come up for a vote Tuesday night was a proposal on a smoking ban that would affect all indoor smoking, including all vaping products. That measure would have grandfathered in hookah lounges for two years, but would ban them after that time. But council members thought that measure needed further study.