Working to reform marijuana laws


What is Deprioritization?

Deprioritization would adjust the practices of the Athens Clark County Police to enable them to be able to solve violent crime which is a serious threat.  It would make the possession of less then a quarter of an ounce (7grams) a simple citation and the pursuit of such prosecutions the lowest priority of Athens Clark County Police.
*this is an outline based off the Seattle i-75 proposal which passed in 2003 this is a rough draft and we would appreciate any legal assistance.

AN ORDINANCE to Establish a Sensible Marijuana Law Enforcement Policy in Athens Clark County

WHEREAS, Athens and other Georgia taxpayers are burdened by the substantial costs of investigating, arresting, prosecuting and jailing people for charges involving marijuana;

WHEREAS, federal education loans are denied to middle-income and lower-income students pursuant to Congressional amendments to the Higher Education Act where applicant students have been convicted of charges involving marijuana;

WHEREAS, Americans were subjected to more than 870,000 arrests for possession of marijuana and arrests related to marijuana and such arrests accounted for nearly half of all drug arrests in the United States in 2007;

WHEREAS, the failures and harms of the Drug War have fallen most heavily on racial minorities and lower income communities, and no racial or economic group in Georgia or the United States has escaped the Drug War unharmed;


A new section of the Athens Municipal Code is added to read as follows:

A.C.C. Enforcement Priority - Marijuana.

A. The Athens Clark County Police Department and City Attorney's Office shall make the investigation, arrest and prosecution of marijuana offenses the lowest law enforcement priority, where the marijuana was intended for adult personal use.

B. On cases of possession less then seven grams the Athens Clark County Police Department shall issue a citation in the amount of $100, in cases where the user was over the age of eighteen. If the offender was a minor, they shall be detained at a holding cell. Their legal guardian must obtain their child at which time they will be issued a $100 citation.

C. On or before December 31, 2010, the President of the City Council shall appoint a nine (9) member Marijuana Policy Review Panel to assess and report on the effects of this ordinance. The Panel shall consist of two (2) members of the City Council, two (2) citizen members, one (1) drug abuse prevention counselor, one (1) harm reduction advocate, one (1) representative of the Athens Clark County Police Department, two (2) criminal defense attorneys. The President of the City Council shall appoint members to vacancies on the Marijuana Policy Review Panel as necessary. The Marijuana Policy Review Panel shall:

1. Elect a chairperson and meet at least quarterly or more frequently as necessary;

2. By March 31, 2009, establish reporting criteria for the Athens Clark County Police Department and City Attorney's Office to report marijuana arrests and prosecutions; and

3. Submit a comprehensive written report with recommendations to the City Council that will include, but not be limited to, information concerning the public safety, public administration, public health and fiscal impacts of paragraph A. above. This report shall be completed and presented at the first meeting of the full City Council for calendar year 2009.

D. The Athens Clark County Police Department shall report marijuana arrests and the City Attorney's Office shall report marijuana prosecutions, including those undertaken by the Athens Clark County Prosecutor's Office for arrests made in Athens Clark County, to the Marijuana Policy Review Panel on a semi-annual basis in compliance with the criteria established by the Panel.

E. Upon consideration of the report and recommendations submitted by the Marijuana Policy Review Panel pursuant to subparagraph B.3. above, the City Council may modify, repeal or let stand this ordinance. Severability of provisions

If any provision of this ordinance or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance or the application of the terms and provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected.

reform the law

UGA Norml endorses responsible marijuana use for adults. Drug abuse is a problem we are all concerned about.

If there is a better method of enforcement, we want it!

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