New marijuana ordinance up for approval

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta commissioners will meet August 20. Members are scheduled to discuss the restructuring of the Richmond County marijuana ordinance.

Some city leaders want to change the marijuana ordinance. It’s been more than a week since commissioners started looking into changing the city’s marijuana ordinance.

A commission committee recently recommended doing away with jail time and reducing fines for possessing small amounts of pot.

The solicitor’s office says they have stopped misdemeanor prosecutions. The city tests hundreds of employees for drugs, including marijuana, and a positive test can lead to being fired. Some officials want that policy changed until a test can show the amount of THC in a person’s body.

“Since there is no testing available to do that, it poses a problem for prosecutors to prosecute possession of marijuana cases,” said State Court Solicitor Omeeka Loggins.

Right now, a person who is charged with marijuana possession in Richmond County can get up to 60 days in jail or ordered to pay a thousand dollar fine. One Georgia State Senator wants to see this changed.

Harold Jones said, “If you had no confinement for someone under 21 and a fine of $150, it would actually be less of penalty for someone who has alcohol under 21, so we’re just trying to make it a little bit more equal.”

Right now, motions to approve a new marijuana ordinance is on the Augusta Commission agenda.

The agenda reads, ‘Motion to approve amending Augusta Code Section 3-7-33 Marijuana to reduce the jail time from 60 days to no time and the fine from a cap of $1,000 to a cap of $150 for the first two offenses and a cap fine of $300 for the third and subsequent offenses and bringing the amended Code section back for approval.’

The commission meeting starts today at two at the commission chambers in the Municipal building (535 Telfair St., Augusta, GA 30901).

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