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Only a fine for marijuana possession? Public invited to sound off on Macon pot law

Bibb County sheriff gives a demonstration after proposed marijuana ordinance

"How many joints can you roll with almost an ounce of pot?" Sheriff David Davis talks in a video posted to the Bibb County Sheriff's Office Facebook page about the proposed ordinance for the decriminalization of less than an ounce of marijuana.
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"How many joints can you roll with almost an ounce of pot?" Sheriff David Davis talks in a video posted to the Bibb County Sheriff's Office Facebook page about the proposed ordinance for the decriminalization of less than an ounce of marijuana.

A public hearing will be held next week on a proposed Macon-Bibb County ordinance that calls for a $75 fine instead of jail time for misdemeanor marijuana possession.

County Commissioner Al Tillman, one of the ordinance’s sponsors, said he decided to hold off trying to get the ordinance placed on Tuesday night’s commission agenda. Instead, having a hearing next Tuesday will give supporters and people who oppose the measure an opportunity to give their take in front of commissioners, he said.

The public hearing will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Macon-Bibb County Government Center, 700 Poplar St.

The proposal would give Bibb County sheriff’s deputies the option of giving a $75 citation when a person is caught with less than an ounce of pot. Currently, the maximum penalty in Georgia for misdemeanor marijuana possession is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The ordinance was first removed from the Bibb commission’s Public Safety Committee agenda on April 23. Tillman said he expects to try to have it voted on at the next regular commission meeting on May 21.

Supporters of the ordinance say they want to minimize the damage that can be caused if someone is forced to pay a large fine, spend time in jail or deal with probation because of a small amount of pot.

There are at least seven other cities or counties in Georgia that have decriminalized marijuana possession, including Atlanta and Savannah.

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