T O P
Ricksanchezforlife

Hold up, Athens decriminalized weed?


warnelldawg

Yes! Fourth city/county after Atlanta and Savannah Edit: correction


theworstdinosaur

Gooooooo Dawgs 🌳 🔥


assaultkitten69

Athens is the 4th as far as I know. Statesboro decriminalized marijuana a few years ago


engineered_chicken

No more Statesboro Blues, I guess.


GenuineDogKnife

Genuinely very happy about this. The town hall meeting was also incredible to watch, it's up on YouTube.


gettinjiggywidit

Link?


warnelldawg

Just search ACCGov and you’ll find it. There were points during the public comment where I had to pinch myself because it seemed like I was watching Parks and Rec. We seriously need to do a better job at getting more youth at these meetings.


KeenKye

This one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiKABDyAAVA


warnelldawg

That’s the one. Quite lengthy.


wellingtonsamy

If only we had Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson.


warnelldawg

Imagine how amazing our government would be if our bureaucrats cared as much as Leslie Knope.


gaporkbbq

Who was the 1 opposing vote? Any justification provided?


warnelldawg

Ovita Thornton. She came with a prepared statement saying that she wasn’t prepared for the vote, even though this has been on the official calendar for over a *month*. Also claimed that she was moved by some of the against speakers that spoke tonight and that she considers weed to be a “gateway” drug


WeedsInMyMind

Weed doesn’t lead to people doing harder drugs. Having to buy weed from a criminal who has harder drugs available and wants to generate new customers for those drugs, that’s the gateway. Remove the criminal from the equation and you remove the gateway.


KyraAndV

Lmao this always cracks me up cuz I hate weed (from a smell and how it affects me standpoint, Idc if other people partake in it and I also approve of all the health benefits it provides) and I'm a former cocaine user. I haven't smoked weed in 11 years and I dabbled with cocaine for the first half of 2018 and I only did cuz I was extremely depressed and suicidal and coke was an escape. The gateway drug thing definitely did not apply to me when you look at that seven year gap of no drug use at all.


ATLFaithful53

Honestly pretty valid tho, but glad it’s decriminalized in some aspects


ndukefan

is that valid? a prepared statement saying she wasn't prepared?


ATLFaithful53

Not that deep fam, I’m talking bout the gateway shii


qhs3711

Alcohol is the gateway drug. It’s not socially viewed as a drug the same way due to successful lobbying. But it is the invisible hand that leads to the manic pursuit of more. Weed makes you content (and possibly incapacitated) with where you are at.


ATLFaithful53

Lmfao y’all are too serious. I said I was glad for a reason😂


dietcokeandastraw

Yeah one that had holes shot through it in just the last few comments alone.


m4chon4cho

Maybe don't say anything if you don't have anything to say


ATLFaithful53

What if I feel like itp


m4chon4cho

The maybe is for the wiggle room


BeeFe420

A step in the right direction, but PD is still gonna detain my black ass if they smell the devils lettuce in my car.


DetectiveMachuPichu

At first glance your pic didn’t make sense😂


BeeFe420

Lmaoooooooooooo I can see how that would happen


fullyclothed1

They were/are supposed to be removing smell as probable cause for searches.


DanforthWhitcomb_

So long as state law permits it, the county commission cannot remove it as PC—the officer can simply use the relevant OCGA section instead of the ACCUG municode section created here.


fullyclothed1

Yes, but they can refuse to prosecute it because of the local statute and even fire those officer who violate local policy, as other localities have done with other issues such as immigration.


DanforthWhitcomb_

The county government proper is not involved in the decision to prosecute (it comes under the independent solicitor’s office) nor can they fire an officer for charging under the OCGA as opposed to the municode. > as other localities have done with other issues such as immigration. No locality has done so with immigration outside of individual Sheriffs or city/county government run jails. Those are both very different than a municipal police department, mainly because in both cases employees are fully at-will and not under the civil service type employment agreement that sworn ACCPD employees are.


pumpkinescobar70

Not yet, they kicked the can on this aspect of the ordinance.


WillingnessOk3081

oh, Ovita Thornton. Sigh.


Djvariant

Right?! And she was my old district. Never did like her vibe.


StPariah

Finally!


georgetheinfinite

🔥🔥


bamalama

But that doesn’t mean your employer won’t follow their drug policies and fire you. I don’t know what this means exactly but UGA, for example, has a form that you have to sign saying you won’t do any illegal drugs. If you get arrested you have to report it to your supervisor etc… I don’t understand if this means it’s just a ticket or what, but if it actually goes on your record there will probably be bigger consequences somewhere down the line.


warnelldawg

It’s just a ticket, akin to one you’d get for jaywalking. But you’re right, your employer can still set their own drug policy and fire you at will.


assaultkitten69

UGA police can and likely will prosecute you using state law


funkpunk46

UGA students caught with cannabis on campus are able to complete an Alcohol and Other Drug education course to avoid prosecution, as that could in turn cause a student to be kicked off campus, kicked out of their program, and denied financial aid. It's a good program that's prevented many students from having to drop out of college over half a gram of cannabis. Full disclosure, this is not a program that can be repeated if a student is caught with cannabis a second time. As for employees, I am positive that they'll just probably lose their job *if* they report their arrest. If they only get a ticket and not arrested, then they aren't required to report anything. Lastly, I can't see why UGA police would get involved in an employee matter however, unless the employee was caught with cannabis while on campus and whomever caught them decides to call the police. I have a hard time seeing that happen.


DanforthWhitcomb_

So can ACCPD, CCSO, GSP (and all other state agencies), Winterville PD and so on.


SoCoolCD

🙌🏾


spo0kyaction

🫡


choochenstein

I wonder how this will change outdoor spaces at bars and restaurants around town, will Athens go the way of Asheville/Nashville as far as “turning a blind eye” to cannabis/hemp use in public or outdoors? Will we see more hempflower dispensaries in town like Franny’s, Wild Side, Gas Stations, etc? Since Cannabis is decrim now, will policymakers move to eliminate synthetic compounds like D8, HHC, THCO and other cannabis related compounds that have been shown to be harmful?


WeiliiEyedWizard

It's still illegal under state law so I doubt much changes. As I understand it accpd cops could still arrest you and charge you under the Georgia law if they want to.


warnelldawg

I also assume the state patrol could still take you to jail, as well.


DanforthWhitcomb_

GSP has no other option—they are not legally able to enforce municipal ordinances.


funkpunk46

ACCPD hate the commissioners and intentionally go against ordinances they don't agree with for that reason. I think they'll absolutely just disregard this and proceed as they usually would when encountering a citizen with cannabis. That said, if they do that to enough rich white UGA students, they'll probably end up with a big, parent funded lawsuit, and finally cooperate with county ordinances. Decriminalization is a great thing, but I think that arrest stats for black and brown people for cannabis possession will stay the same, even if they have to call state police and wait for them to arrive to carry out the arrest.


DanforthWhitcomb_

> they'll probably end up with a big, parent funded lawsuit, and finally cooperate with county ordinances. There’s no colorable lawsuit to file. This is what is known as a parallel ordinance—it simply allows the officer the discretion to cite under it instead of the relevant OCGA section.


funkpunk46

Perfect - officer discretion. That's never lead to anything other than the law being followed.


DanforthWhitcomb_

The other option is for ordinances like this to have zero legal weight. I’m sure you’d absolutely love to go back to the pre-1976 state of affairs where municipalities in the state were barred by law from passing anything even remotely resembling these types of ordinances.


funkpunk46

Listen, I'm happy about it and see it as a good thing for sure. I am simply a citizen who has trusted public officials in the past and gotten mislead or simply subjected to the whim of people in power. It's awful and traumatizing, and it's natural to be skeptical and defensive following such an experience. Having talked with several friends and colleagues about this ordinance, I am relaxing my butthole and trusting that this is true and that Athens will continue to become a safe bubble in a state that feels so, so hostile towards my community.


UncutEmeralds

What have they found harmful about delta 8? Asking for a friend…


opieself

I just did a basic search and can't find anything. Even webMD, the place that loves to tell you that you are dying, doesn't have any thing listed for delta 8 that would surprise anyone. > Some people have reported side effects like: > Confusion, Anxiety, Drowsiness, Slow heart rate (bradycardia), Numbness, Fast heart rate (tachycardia), Low blood pressure (hypotension) The only thing I saw was a specific not on taking things in with vapes due to lung harm but that would be true for all oils. The fact that the above mentioned things are "synthetic" usually causes a lot of concern in some areas.


Outrageous-You453

I think the usual concern is that what you are buying isn't actually delta-8, because the 'chemists' making it are not exactly well trained or interested in quality control.


BobertTheConstructor

I’ve bought both D8 and D9, and while not legally regulated, the D9 was in edible form sold by a dispensary and regulated by the FDA, and the D8 was also in edible form (honey) by a reputable producer who had a full chemical breakdown of his product available, verified by the company who did it. I bought it at a festival. It’s not hard to do your own quality control, but many people are either naïve, lazy, or both, or are so psychologically dependent on getting high that they just don’t care.


opieself

Which is fair but that comes down to regulating the manufacture not eliminating the product. It also means it is worth buying from trusted locations since them putting out bad products will be reflected.


Outrageous-You453

Agreed.


choochenstein

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/5-things-know-about-delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol-delta-8-thc I’ll put this here for posterity. There have now been more than one coded deaths due to D8. Several in Oregon, CO and Missouri. I know about one of them firsthand - my little brother passed away last October from Delta 8 and Kratom use combined which resulted in heart failure. Both legal substances bought at a headshop/gas station type place. If he had reasonable access to normal cannabis, he wouldn’t have have gone chasing the dragon with synthetically derived/alternative substances. He was a year and a half out from quitting drinking and had settled into a fairly moderate cannabis consumption of 1/2-1 gram of cannabis a day. His weed had become difficult to acquire and costly, he picked up some D8 vapes and Kratom from a store nearby and a few days later he was gone. One thing I hated about the situation was that his death certificate stated Cannabis and Kratom as the cause of death, because they were unable to make the appropriate distinction at first.


UncutEmeralds

I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess it was the underlying heart problem and kratom more than anything. That stuff can be pretty bad and it bothers me how nonchalant people are about it. One of my coworkers had to get into rehab for it and had severe physical withdrawals.


Tech_Philosophy

Yeah, I think it's one of those things that's going to take a while to really sort out. Possible explanations include: 1) Delta-8 may be more dangerous than delta-9 inherently. This is not the most likely given the volume of sales that now exist, but if you pop a methyl group off a chemical, you may have made a carcinogen, hard to know without study. 2) Delta-8 may be safe, but the manufacturing process is not. Some places use bleach or similar to transform CBD into delta 8. This would be especially problematic if you are smoking it instead of using gummies. 3) Delta-8 production may be safe, but mixing it with the wrong oil for vaping is deadly no matter what you are trying to consume a la the vitamin E vaping scandal. 4) Delta-8 is not actually in any way more harmful than delta-9, and rare cardiac events are happening in both camps to people with preexisting conditions or who mix drugs (one of the three gold rules in life is never mix drugs). 5) None of the above. It's hard to say, and it sucks that states won't give people the freedom to get highly regulated cannabis, a plant that is so old and has such a storied history with humanity that I would be willing to use the world "co-evolved". Edit: And sorry for your loss!


Oriolesguy

So is it $1 or $35 as a fine?


warnelldawg

Bruv, $35


Oriolesguy

That’s a shame.


engineered_chicken

Speaking as someone who has paid a whole lot more than that to make a cannabis charge go away, $35 is a fucking bargain.


Oriolesguy

Fair enough.


funkpunk46

ACCPD hate the commissioners and intentionally go against ordinances they don't agree with for that reason. I think they'll absolutely just disregard this and proceed as they usually would when encountering a citizen with cannabis. That said, if they do that to enough rich white UGA students, they'll probably end up with a big, parent funded lawsuit, and finally cooperate with county ordinances. Decriminalization is a great thing, but I think that arrest stats for black and brown people for cannabis possession will stay the same, even if ACCPD officers have to call state police and wait for them to arrive to carry out the arrest.


warnelldawg

Yeah, I mean. The commissioners did the right thing within the confines of their power. It’s effectiveness? Who knows. In all honesty, this is more of a federal issue than anything.


detill3

What ordinances does the PD go against?


funkpunk46

The most recent example was the commissions orders to halt marijuana arrests until tests can be developed to distinguish THC heavy cannabis from CBD cannabis, in 2021. ACCPD continued making marijuana arrests and creating press releases about those arrests, which Commissioner Parker criticized them for in December 2021. Additionally, I base my statements on direct (face to face) communications with people in leadership within ACCPD, within the last year. I'm sure there are other examples - I do not trust Athens Police because they pick and choose which laws to follow and enforce, and told me just as much. Furthermore, the deputies and contractors staffing the county jail are dangerous and enjoy creating distress in the prisoners housed there. Saw it myself, and it changed my entire path in life.


detill3

ACCPD hasn’t been making misdemeanor marijuana arrests since the hemp law was passed. In a recent work session, the Deputy Chief reported one misdemeanor marijuana arrest was made, a mistake by an officer, and it was being handled. The arrests I assume you are referring to are generally due to possessing other illegal drugs and felony amounts of marijuana happen to also be present, so are charged. ACCPD telling you they pick and choose what laws to enforce probably has more to do with manpower, the fact that many laws are a waste of time, and not safety concerns. Not everything is a conspiracy or blatant disrespect of others.


funkpunk46

Def not a conspiracist, but statements matter. Thank you for providing further context, and you’re welcome, re: the context I provided.


SundayShelter

My questions: Will people simply be ticketed on the spot and released or will they still be arrested? Will this move be used as probable cause for detainment or search & seizure? $35 is very different than $1. It’s better than nothing but still pretty classist. $35 is nothing when momsy and daddykins are covering Chet’s undergrad experience but also half a day’s wages for many low income citizens in ACC.


warnelldawg

1. If it is enforced, it will just be a ticket, like jaywalking. 2. I think this is the whole point of decriminalizing it, so it won’t provide probable cause. 3. They tried to make it $1, but there are some ticket fees that are mandated by state law such as contributions to the Sheriffs pension fund etc and it all comes out to $35. The county isn’t getting a dime of money from the ticket.


NotABadBelayer

Wait sheriffs pension funds come from tickets? I can’t say I’m surprised lol but this seems like a conflict of interest for the entire force.


warnelldawg

I wasn’t aware of it either, and it seemed like many of the commissioners weren’t either, until the city attorney explained why the ticket cannot be less than $35.


DanforthWhitcomb_

It’s because it’s a civil fine, which means the odd relationship the SO has with the civil court system comes into play. There’s also the matter that it’s a statewide pension fund, not a county specific one.


SundayShelter

1) good to know. 2) there should be a local campaign to explain that “decriminalized” is different than “legalized” so a lot of folks don’t FAFO. 3) LOL, what?!?! What a blatant racket.


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warnelldawg

Thanks for your insight! It’ll be interesting to see this play out.


gambits13

I think a $35 ticket for something you used to go to jail for being called classist is a bit of a stretch. I'm not arguing that cops or people aren't classist or racist. But a $35 ticket, come on.


SundayShelter

I could’ve used better terms. We’ll say it “disproportionally impacts low-income citizens.”


gambits13

yeah, I guess. It's still a vast improvement for the lowest income people, it's $35 over jail and probation, which is way more expensive. literally everything that cost money disproportionally impacts people with less money


Libby_Grace

Weed's not cheap these days. If they had enough to buy the weed, they have enough to pay what is a really minor, low fine. I think this is a great step ACC has made, but if they had left the fine at $1, I would have been less thrilled with it. At that rate, it would have cost the government more to issue and process the ticket than it would have returned to the coffers through fines.


engineered_chicken

> At that rate, it would have cost the government more to issue and process the ticket than it would have returned to the coffers through fines. I don't see an economic disincentive to even bother to write tickets as a problem.


choochenstein

With the ability to order cannabis online legally through loopholes in the hemp bill, I disagree with weed not being cheap these days. Many med/rec states are dealing with a massive surplus and are capitalizing on this loophole. I’ve seen prices on flower, edibles and concentrates become shockingly low. Like wholesale, dollar store prices low.


j-mar

Can someone let me know when Oconee does this?


warnelldawg

It’ll only happen there when/if the feds get around to doing it. You’re talking about a county that went crying to the state last year to get their own judicial circuit when Deborah Gonzalez got elected Western Judicial Circuit DA


Tech_Philosophy

> You’re talking about a county that went crying to the state last year to get their own judicial circuit True, but it's also a county that is only growing because Californians are moving in. Pretty sure I heard someone say the other day "wait, they don't have cannabis delivery services here?".


warnelldawg

Sure, Oconee and Barrow are growing exponentially, but that’ll be more important in ~10 years. It will take a while to root out the current county police l apparatus, which is very entrenched. Also, not checking to see if Ga has weed deliveries before you literally move across the country is stupid.


Tech_Philosophy

> It will take a while to root out the current county police l apparatus I'll admit I'm not sure what is going to happen. On the one hand, you have the good old boys. On the other hand, you have transplants who have $$$. I think money wins. It usually does. > not checking to see if Ga has weed deliveries Now now, GA is kind of the odd man out here, and again, all it takes to fix is dollars. I doubt those laws are stopping anyone.


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DanforthWhitcomb_

Nothing meaningful has changed. The turnover rate has dropped, but it’s because she’s pretty much stopped trying to fill empty positions in favor of just asking PAC to loan out attorneys when needed.


Brilliant_Baseball34

Source for this info?


DanforthWhitcomb_

Word of mouth from various people involved in the CJ system in both Clarke and Oconee counties. Gonzalez is not a bad DA *per se*, but she’s an absolutely atrocious manager.


Nocrackerzjustjello

Yes!! Freedom in blue areas.


X_Epic_Gamer_X_pd

Fuck yeah


warnelldawg

Would you consider it an epic gamer moment?


X_Epic_Gamer_X_pd

Indeed let us roast a bowl in celebration


sweetcarles

Thank Bob now we can stop focusing our resources on people who just want to smoke some weed...


warnelldawg

Yes, I’m very thankful for Bob as well.


engineered_chicken

In fact, Bob runs my delivery service.


Loude420

Just because it’s decriminalized doesn’t mean it can’t be used as a reasonable cause search to find something else. Historically that’s how GA police have used it and this doesn’t change that.


warnelldawg

UGA police are technically state police, just like the state troopers, so yes, they can still use it as probable cause.


DanforthWhitcomb_

No, they are not. UGAPD only have police powers within 500’ of BoR property. GSP troopers have police powers anywhere in the state.


Brilliant_Baseball34

That is legally incorrect.


warnelldawg

Hmm, I was always told that they had the same powers as GSP. Turns out we’re both wrong, though: https://safeandsecure.uga.edu/campus-law-enforcement/ Says that they “can enforce state laws within 500 yards of campus”, which if you actually map it out, is probably a decent chunk of the county if you include all the properties.


detill3

So can ACCPD….


Nerdsical

Who cares? Not trying to be mean. But does it really matter if you can smoke pot or not?


Emorett

Hopefully this means we’ll see less laced weed in Athens with the hysteria now far decreased. That’s partially what had me reluctant for the longest time Edit: I’ve now been told this was already a very rare occurrence, which I previously wasn’t aware of.


AFlockofTurtles

[Worth reading. ](https://www.leafly.com/news/health/leafly-investigation-fentanyl-laced-marijuana-is-a-myth-its-time-to-end-the-hype) Full legalization and established shops would be the ideal move.


Emorett

That’s actually really interesting, and I didn’t know that. The statement you made was something I was already agreeing with tbf


tylo17

There is no laced weed. Why would anyone put free drugs into the weed they are selling at barely a profit to begin with?


NotABadBelayer

Laced is probably the wrong term, contaminated may be a more apt description to the (relatively few) amount of cases where weed has been shown to have trace amounts of other drugs like fentanyl, likely from dealers not being thorough in cleaning off tables, scales, hands/gloves, etc. But yeah I haven’t actually seen a ton of evidence that this is a regular occurrence in weed.


Emorett

The fentanyl thing is what I’m referring to. And yes, it’s not a very regular occurrence. But the chance goes up when weed is still made out to be illegal


Emorett

There’s been many cases where dealers get people hooked on harder stuff by mixing it with more innocuous substances like weed. It’s not unheard of. This, in turn, produces more potential customers who are then looking for a higher high. The dealer can then turn more of a profit.


mateovega76

the vast majority of weed dealers only sell weed and occasionally mushrooms


Emorett

I guess I’ve been brainwashed by police and people on campus talking to me about the numbers. Probably framed to scare students out of using it.


cranberryalarmclock

There have certainly been people saying this happens but I've never once seen any evidence for it And i used to roll with some pretty dirt bags lol


Emorett

I hear you, and you’re probably right. People are rightfully kicking my ass in the replies 😅😅