On October 5, 2021, The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners was slated to vote on a harm reduction ordinance, dropping the penalty for simple possession of cannabis to $100 and 20 hours of community service. They postponed the vote until November.
The Commissioners say they “needed to get more consensus from organizations or folks that would be impacted if [we] decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.” So, let them hear you.
Call or email your commissioners using the template below, or by telling your own story. Cannabis isn’t a terrifying ‘drug,’ and those who consume it are not criminals. We are their neighbors, friends, and constituents.
Dear Commissioner (or Madam Chairwoman):
I am a resident of Gwinnett County, writing to express support for the harm reduction ordinance proposed by Commissioner Carden, which would reduce the criminal penalties associated with simple possession of cannabis/marijuana from 1 year/$1,000 fine to community supervision and $150 fine.
When this vote was delayed on October 5, the Commission said it “needed to get more consensus from folks that would be impacted” by decriminalization.
The consensus of your constituency is clear: 3 out of 4 Americans support a fine-only (no jail) response to cannabis possession. 55% of Georgia voters believe cannabis should be fully legal for adults to use. 82% of Georgia voters support candidates who will end the war on drugs, reduce incarceration, and address racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Please listen to the People, and the evidence. Decades of racially and politically motivated misinformation have made cannabis arrests an easy way to label marginalized people as “criminals,” and deprive them of their rights. A criminal record carries collateral consequences that damage individuals access to employment, safe housing, public assistance, education, transportation, health, professional licensure, and family custody/reunification
Cannabis poses no risk of death or overdose. It is safer than alcohol or cigarettes. By far the most destructive thing about cannabis is getting caught with it.
Please vote FOR Commissioner Carden’s harm reduction ordinance, making simple possession a civil rather than a criminal offense. Together, we can protect the citizens of Gwinnett from the worst dangers of cannabis use – simply by not arresting them for it.
Your name and address
Read Peachtree NORML’s full recommendation (sent to the Board and Commission back in April) here: https://bit.ly/3wjrhSb
Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners
Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson
Commissioner Kirkland Carden
[Sponsor: send love and kudos for moving this change forward!]
District 1: Duluth, Suwanee, Sugar Hill, and portions of Norcross
Commissioner Ben Ku
District 2: Peachtree Corners, Berkeley Lake, Norcross, Tucker, and Lilburn
Commissioner Jasper Watkins III
District 3: Braselton, Auburn, Dacula, Grayson, Loganville, Snellville, and parts of Lawrenceville
Commissioner Marlene M. Fosque
District 3: Lawrenceville, Buford, and Rest Haven; parts of Braselton and Sugar Hill.