The legalization of marijuana in the United States has become one of the most noteworthy developments in the nation’s drug policy within the last few decades. That being said, the exact legislation that surrounds this issue is not always easy to decipher. Like many legal issues within the Republic, federal legislators have allowed each individual state to establish its own stance on the concept of legalization.
If you live in Georgia, it is important that you understand your state’s legislation on this issue. When you properly educate yourself and learn the exact details of Georgia’s stance in regard to marijuana, you can better protect yourself against potential legal consequences. If you are facing a drug charge of any kind in Georgia, it is important that you enlist the aid of a qualified attorney who has expert knowledge of these issues.
Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Georgia?
When it comes to marijuana laws in the United States, you should strive to understand the distinction between recreational and medical use. In the state of Georgia, recreational use of marijuana is indeed a crime. That being said, some cities and counties within Georgia have altered the legislation to the point where recreational marijuana users receive extremely light sentences. Before we get into that, here is a rundown on the Georgia’s “official” stance on recreational marijuana use:
- Possession of One Ounce or Less: Misdemeanor charge with one year in prison or a $1,000 fine
If you are a recreational user, it is unlikely that you will possess more than one ounce at any given time. If you do happen to regularly obtain more than one ounce (so as to last you for several months), you might want to limit your quantities in the future to avoid a felony.
With all that said, the state did rule in favor of decriminalization in the case of a few notable cities, such as Savannah and Atlanta. In these cities, recreational users face much lighter penalties if caught with one ounce of marijuana or less. For example, in Atlanta those found with less than one ounce face only a fine of a few hundred dollars with no prison time. Because of this, the penalty for recreational use in certain cities is not much worse than a parking ticket.
Penalties for Trafficking or Sale
The consequences for trafficking or sale of marijuana are much more serious, regardless of the city’s unique laws. Here’s a rundown on the laws pertaining to trafficking or sale:
Trafficking or Sale (all Felony Charges):
- Between one ounce and 10 Pounds: One to10 years in prison
- 10 to 2,000 Pounds: Five years in prison, plus a $100,000 fine
- 2,000 to 10,000 Pounds: Seven years in prison, plus a $250,000 fine
- More than 10,000 Pounds: 15 years in prison, plus a $1 million fine
Medical Usage in Georgia
The legislation surrounding medical usage of marijuana is much more straightforward. In 2015, Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill known as “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” which allows medical usage of marijuana in the form of THC oil. The oil must have less than 5% THC content. This allowance is primarily given to patients suffering from serious illnesses, such as cancer.
Getting Legal Help
If you are facing a marijuana possession charge, it is within your best interests to enlist the help of an expert attorney as soon as possible. With an understanding of constitutional and Georgia law, your attorney can help you achieve a favorable outcome. Reach out to Lankford & Moore Law today and get the help you need.