While Reed said he believes marijuana is a gateway drug, he also said he thinks the punishment “disproportionately affects brown people.”
Between 2014 and 2016, 92 percent of people arrested in Atlanta for possessing marijuana were African-American, according to the Racial Justice Action Center.
The state legislature this year loosened the restrictions on medical marijuana for people with autism, AIDS and other ailments.
“Making marijuana more easily available and penalizing it less sounds good if you have a traditional family structure,” Reed said. “It’s a different thing if you’re a single mom trying to raise a teenager.”