(Eric Engman/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP, File)

Around Georgia: Is Atlanta a marijuana trend setter?

Publication says when city reduced penalties, other communities followed

A publication called theleafonline.com says when the city of Atlanta announced in October that it was reducing marijuana enforcement and penalties, it kicked off a new wave of changes in cannabis enforcement. It says that since February, other jurisdictions have taken similar steps, including Albuquerque, N.M., East Baton Rouge, La., and Jackson, Miss. In October, the Atlanta City Council unanimously passed legislation eliminating jail time and reducing penalties on possession of small amounts of marijuana. The measure reduced the financial penalty for possession of 1 ounce or less from up to $1,000 to a maximum of $75. Jail time, currently six months for possession, was eliminated for 1 ounce or less.

Gwinnett’s first Hispanic mayor to be recognized by Georgia House

The Walton Tribune reports that the Georgia House will pay tribute next week to Rey Martinez, Gwinnett County’s first Hispanic mayor. A resolution is expected to be presented to Martinez, the mayor of Loganville, on Monday, the newspaper reports. The city of Loganville covers portions of Gwinnett and Walton counties.

Rockdale pay raise bill moves forward

Rockdale County school board members may be one step closer to receiving their first pay raise in 30 years, according to rockdalenewtoncitizen.com. The Georgia House this week unanimously approved House Bill 990, sponsored by state Rep. Pam Dickerson, D-Conyers, which would increase board members’ pay to $1,000 a month and allow for cost-of-living adjustments equal to those of teachers. Board members currently are paid $75 per meeting, compensation lower than in most other metro Atlanta counties, the paper reports. House Bill 964, a similar piece of legislation sponsored by state Rep. Vernon Jones, D-Lithonia, would provide pay of $1,000 a month, which would increase to $1,200 per month on Jan. 1, 2020. It also has a provision for cost-of-living adjustments.

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