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Macon’s marijuana decriminalization proposal is being delayed. Here’s why.

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A local official who supported ending jail time and hefty fines for possessing a small amount of pot has decided to delay bringing his marijuana decriminalization measure before the Macon-Bibb County Commission.

The ordinance that would decriminalize marijuana possession for less than one ounce was pulled from Tuesday’s Public Safety Committee agenda. Mayor Pro Tem Al Tillman said he plans to closely work with law enforcement and court officials before it comes back before the committee.

The proposal would not have made it legal to have marijuana, but instead would have treated a smaller quantity the same way as a speeding ticket. Anyone caught with less than one ounce would pay a $75 fine.

“There is a lot of public support behind making this change to our marijuana laws and making it so that small amounts only get people a ticket and a fine,” Tillman said in a statement. “Our local officials are also behind this idea, and we needed a little extra time to work out the details to make sure we are clear how this will move forward.”

Currently, possessing less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor violation under state law. The maximum penalty in Georgia is one year in jail, a $1,000 fine and probation.

Tillman co-sponsored the ordinance with Commissioner Virgil Watkins.

Less than an ounce of marijuana possession has been decriminalized in Fulton County, Atlanta, Savannah, Forest Park and several other Georgia municipalities.

A bill was passed by state lawmakers this year allowing limited in-state cultivation of marijuana for medical marijuana patients.

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