Atlanta and Fulton County Have "Decriminalized" Marijuana. Can I Smoke It or Use It There?
Over the past year or so, the city of Atlanta, the new city of South Fulton, and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners have all enacted legislation which makes possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce an city or county ordinance violation, with the only penalty being the payment of a fine (typically $75 for a first offense). The problem is that under Georgia state law, possession of marijuana less than an ounce is still a misdemeanor criminal offense. So police officers with Atlanta PD, South Fulton PD, or Fulton County PD can still charge suspects under state law and arrest them. It is up to the officer initially whether they want to charge someone under state law or under the city/county ordinance violation.
And when the case goes to court, the prosecutor can amend the charge from the state level charge to an ordinance violation or vice versa if they choose to do so. Possession of marijuana is still illegal anywhere in Georgia, and many officers still charge people under state law and arrest them. If you're facing a possession charge, feel free to contact me.