New Augusta plan says no jail or large fines if caught with ounce of marijuana

Tuesday, August 13, 2019
(News 12 at 6 o'clock)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT)-- Misdemeanor marijuana rules are soon likely to change when it comes to jail time and fines. Tuesday, commissioners voted to change the Augusta Code at the request of the state senator and county solicitor.

If you get caught with an ounce or less of marijuana, you won't be looking at jail time, or a fine up to $1000. A committee voted to update code section 3-7-33. Under the current code, a misdemeanor offense has a consequence of up to 60 days in jail and/or a maximum payment of one grand.

In commission, State Senator Harold Jones, along with Richmond County Solicitor Omeeka Loggins, told leaders the city would be joining
12 other jurisdictions by making this move.

When Commissioner Mary Davis asked for the reasons behind the request, Sen. Jones cited overpopulation in jails, saving costs on inmates, and alleviating issues with probation offices. Jones also told commission, it would mean less misdemeanor cases for the solicitor to prosecute.

A committee voted for the city's law department to change the code. The update will still need to go through full commission.

The updated 3-7-33 code would mean no jail for those caught with an ounce or less and a cap-payment of $150 for the first offense.
On the subsequent offenses, you'd pay up to $300 each time.

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