CLARKSTON, GA (WXIA) -- A local city councilman wants police to stop arresting people for possession and hit them with just a fine instead.
The controversial proposal to make cannabis practically legal in Clarkston.
“The laws as they are now are not a deterrent. The war on drugs has not been successful,” explained council member Dean Moore.
He’s drafting the proposal, and he believes being arrested for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is damaging.
“You’re marginalized. You can’t get a job because you have an arrest,” he said.
His proposal changes the punishment for possession to a citation level offense, similar to a traffic ticket. In other words –no arrest. Just a fine.
“We don’t need to base our system on ruining people’s lives. And that’s basically what it is when you arrest somebody for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana,” Moore said.
But a city ordinance supercede county or state laws?
11Alive legal analyst Phil Holloway said, “The city can pass whatever ordinance it wants. If an officer wants to charge the state law then the case goes to DeKalb State Court where state laws are enforced."
In other words, even if the city ordinance is passed some arrests could still be made for possession in Clarkston.
11Alive’s Jeremy Campbell asked the Moore about this, and he said he’s consulting other cities outside the state that have minimalized marijuana charges for advice on making this stick. He will present his proposal to the city council later this year.