News Briefs: Twitter marijuana drama; transgender students; noise ordinance

Mayor Kasim Reed’s office released this photo of him signing the marijuana legislation into law.

Twitter is known as the place to find early morning political drama, mostly thanks to President Donald Trump, but Atlanta had its on taste of the furor after an erroneous tweet appeared on the official Atlanta City Council timeline about the city’s new marijuana law. According to the AJC, the tweet claiming that Mayor Kasim Reed had vetoed legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana appeared around 6 a.m. Reed had actually signed the legislation on Tuesday and vetoed the sale of a piece of land to City of Hapeville. The tweet, blamed on a new staffer who confused the pieces of legislation, was recalled an hour later, but by then Reed had already responded on Twitter (he claimed it was a “political stunt” by City Council President Ceaser Mitchell, who is running for mayor) and later went on V-103 to blast Mitchell and local media outlets who jumped on the tweet without verifying it.

The Decatur School Board said it is open to reviewing a policy on transgender students, according to Decaturish. Parents and residents spoke for three hours during Tuesday’s meeting, mostly in support of the policy, which says students are to be treated according to their preferred gender identity and they should be allowed access to facilities according to their preferred gender, including bathrooms. The issue has been simmering for several months but became a public controversy after two parents and an attorney claiming to be part of a “parents coalition” raised concerns about the policy during a September School Board meeting.

In an effort to increase the enforceability of Atlanta’s noise ordinance, the members of Atlanta’s Public Safety Committee unanimously voted to adopt a revised version introduced by Councilmember Howard Shook that he believes will lead to more citations and better court outcomes. The biggest change is a shift away from noise metering equipment in favor of a police officer’s assessment of ‘plainly audible’ sound. The meter-based findings were deemed overly technical and easy to dispute in court. The proposed language capitalizes on the success of Athens’ noise ordinance, which in a recent challenge, was upheld by Georgia’s Supreme Court. Shook’s frustration with the impotence of the current noise ordinance, which he accused of being as useful “as mammary glands on a fish,” led him to introduce legislation that simply eliminated the entire thing. The full Atlanta City Council will take up Shook’s legislation during its 1 p.m. meeting on Monday, Oct. 16.

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