First Atlanta, Now Savannah, Alderman Calls for Reduced Marijuana Penalties in Georgia

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On Monday, Alderman Van Johnson proclaimed his intention to embrace marijuana reform in the City of Savannah, Georgia.

Announced via his social media account, Johnson’s proposed ordinance would dramatically reduce any monetary penalties and remove the threat of incarceration for individuals caught with small quantities of cannabis.

Currently, those caught with more than 1 ounce of marijuana in the city of Savannah face one year of incarceration and a $1,000 fine.

Johnson hopes to present his ordinance to the Savannah City Council for consideration within the next 45 days. The proposed ordinance for possessing up to 1 ounce of marijuana within Savannah’s city limits would eliminate the potential for jail time and reduce the current fine of $1,000 to $150.

Intended to address Savannah’s demographic disparity for personal marijuana infractions,  Alderman Johnson’s thought-provoking ordinance would free up law enforcement resources and allow local police to serve and protect, as Johnson explained on Facebook.

“I believe that this ordinance will relieve our criminal justice system and courts of these types of cases, allowing prosecutors and courts to focus on and address violent crime more efficiently,” said Johnson.

Savannah, Georgia, Marijuana reform ordinance

Courtesy of Alderman Johnson’s Facebook

Still seriously frowned upon by the state of Georgia, Johnson’s marijuana ordinance comes after Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed signed a similar measure into law on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Asked for their input by Alderman Johnson, Savannah’s City Manager, police chief, and both the City and District Attorneys will provide their suggestions/comments prior to Johnson’s presentation before the Savannah City Council.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett

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Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

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