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DeKalb County nixes plan to end marijuana testing of job applicants

Commissioners in a suburban Atlanta county rejected an official’s proposal to drop marijuana testing for some job applicants.

DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry last week proposed ending the tests.

But WAGA-TV reports the plan died in a committee meeting after no other commissioners supported it.

Terry’s plan wouldn’t have applied to police officers, firefighters or equipment operators. But he said his plan would have ended testing for about 2,000 of DeKalb County’s 6,000 positions.

“This was an effort to change an antiquated policy an outdated, war-on-drugs policy, that is unjust, unfair,” Terry said.

He argued that with marijuana becoming legal in some places, Georgia’s fourth most populous county should discontinue the requirement. He also argued that the policy could deter some job applicants.

“It also puts DeKalb County government at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting the best and brightest employees,” Terry said.

But others oppose the plan.

Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson said marijuana is still illegal in Georgia. In a statement, she noted that marijuana can impair “judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time.” She said employees under the influence of marijuana or alcohol may not be able to do their jobs.

In 2017, when Terry was the mayor of Clarkston in DeKalb County, the city lowered fines for those caught with less than a half-ounce of marijuana from $660 to $75.

Terry said he will continue trying to change fellow commissioners’ “outdated views.”