Though the Atlanta City Council said they allegedly received an email stating Mayor Kasim Reed vetoed a bill that decriminalizes the possession of marijuana in small amounts, WSB-TV 2 Atlanta reports the mayor signed the bill into law on Tuesday night.
The Atlanta City Council recalled their initial statement on Wednesday morning via Twitter. Reed also confirmed he did not veto the bill, stating he believed the initial tweet was a “political stunt.”
During an interview with Atlanta’s V-103, City Council Communications Director Dexter Chambers said an intern tweeted the information before receiving approval on his behalf. “They have to run it by me and that was not done and I’m really upset,” Chambers said. “It’s a mistake on our part and it has nothing to do with politics.”
According to a tweet sent out by Reed on Wednesday morning, the marijuana legislation was signed last night at 6:24 p.m.
As previously reported, the Atlanta City Council unanimously passed the ordinance on October 2. It was initially proposed by Councilman and mayoral candidate Kwanza Hall and passed 15-0. Reed had eight days to either sign or veto the legislation.
Atlanta’s previous law penalized marijuana possession with a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months behind bars. The ordinance omits imprisonment as a form of punishment for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and cuts fines down to a max of $75.
“Ninety percent of the people who are in our jails for possession of marijuana are young African-Americans,” Hall said. “People are losing their jobs. People are losing their scholarships. Families are being torn apart for something that we should really be ashamed of.”
He continued, “Half of the country has awoken up to this. It’s time for Atlanta to be awake as well.”