Tybee considers changes to marijuana possession charges

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 7:16 AM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Tybee Island city council voted on the first reading of an ordinance that would change the punishment for marijuana possession in the city.

This ordinance would make possession of up to two ounces of marijuana a ticketing offence instead of jail time.

Tybee Island leaders say they are the first city in Georgia to consider such an ordinance.

Some council members want to look at records and remove similar offences from past records. Officials say they would consider removing those charges from offenders in the last six months to a year.

At Thursday night’s City Council meeting, they voted voted on the first reading of the ordinance. Mayor Shirley Sessions says it reads that if someone has less than an ounce it’ll be treated as a civil matter instead of jail time. She says police say it would allow them to spend more time fighting bigger crime.

“Is it really benefiting the citizens? Is it really benefiting them when they could be spending time taking dangerous people off the street addressing domestic violence issues? That’s my understanding of what’s been driving this,” said Mayor Sessions.

From now until the next meeting, the mayor says the appropriate departments will determine if they want to remove charges from previous offenders and from how many years back . She says this will be provided at the next reading in August.

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