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Mistaken Tweet About Marijuana Decriminalization Creates Controversy in Atlanta Mayoral Race

You would think someone tweeting from an official government account would make sure to double check their facts before accusing someone of vetoing a law. But apparently in Atlanta, that is not the case.

Last week the Atlanta City Council unanimously passed a bill that would decriminalize marijuana. The law would go into effect as soon as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed signed the bill, which he promised to do. But on Wednesday morning, the official twitter account for the Atlanta City Council tweeted, "We received an email overnight that the Mayor VETOED our marijuana legislation for less than one ounce."

Well, it wasn't true.

Mayor Reed had actually signed the bill into law Tuesday night and spent all Wednesday morning insisting the tweet was wrong before the City Council twitter account finally deleted it.

You'd think that would be the end of the story, right? A wrong tweet gets sent out by mistake, it gets deleted and everyone moves on.

Well, not exactly. After the false tweet went out, Reed accused City Council President Ceasar Mitchell of doing it purposely to make the mayor look bad. 

“This was intentional. This was a political stunt,” Reed told a radio show on Wednesday.

Mitchell and Reed are somewhat conflicting politically at the moment. Reed's term as mayor is about to end, and he recently endorsed Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms to take over after he's done. But Mitchell is also running for mayor. Reed implied that Mitchell sent out the tweet to make him look bad and therefore hurt the possibilities of his candidate replacing him in the next election.

In his defense, Mitchell claimed he had nothing to do with the tweet. He then accused Reed of using the tweet as a political ploy to distract from a recent scandal in which two contractors plead guilty to offering bribes for city contracts.

So first Reed accused Mitchell of sending the false tweet to make him look bad. But Mitchell is saying Reed is actually using the false tweet to distract from an actual news story that makes him look bad. 

And you thought the only politician creating controversy on Twitter was the president!

(h/t The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)


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