Is Weed Legal in Georgia? Georgia Marijuana Laws Explained
Is weed legal in GA? The answer is no. Despite a few cities and counties attempting to pass laws to decriminalize the recreational use of marijuana, these laws contradict both state and federal drug laws. Possessing more than one ounce of marijuana is considered a felony.
Despite the fact that its use is illegal, smoking marijuana is widely prevalent throughout the state. Similar to the Prohibition laws of the 1920s, there has been widespread disregard for these laws due to the public perception of their unfairness at both the state and federal level.
In Georgia, smoking pot in public is considered illegal. The possession of even small amounts of marijuana is also considered a criminal offense, except in cities such as Atlanta that have passed laws decriminalizing the possession of small amounts, as outlined in Atlanta’s weed laws. In only exceptional ocassions is weed legal in GA: those with a registry card from the medical cannabis commission can access medical marijuana for certain diagnosed conditions.
Most Georgia courts deserve recognition for implementing either a diversion or conditional discharge method for resolving any simple first-time possession of marijuana violations in GA. However, this applies only to possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in Georgia. In some cases, these types of sentencing alternatives may also be applied to second offenders when the criminal defense attorney knows how to structure the plea to a second simple possession of weed case.
If you have been arrested in Georgia for marijuana possession or a marijuana DUI (driving under the influence of marijuana or “drugged” driving), it is important to seek the assistance of experienced criminal lawyers who specialize in drug cases. A key attribute to look for in a criminal justice attorney near you is knowledge of the various methods for beating a possession charge in Georgia. Our legal team is well-versed in all of Georgia’s weed laws and can provide the skilled representation you need.
Understanding Felony and Misdemeanor Marijuana Drug Offenses
Oregon was the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, with the legislation taking effect on July 1, 1973. It took 40 years for Georgia to pass its first law allowing for some medicinal uses of marijuana, which occurred on July 1, 2013, during Governor Nathan Deal’s tenure.
Several sources of reasoned discussion and dialogue have recently challenged Georgia’s antiquated weed laws. Families of very ill children and other relatives have come together to push for medical marijuana laws in the state.
The medical marijuana statutes produced in 2017 and 2018 through two legislative bills approved by Governor Nathan Deal and the Legislature were highly conservative and flawed. Another bill passed in 2016 allowed for lower THC medical cannabis oil to be used for a restrictive list of medical conditions. This progression of new laws provides hope that Georgia will one day generate billions of dollars in tax revenues from taxing cannabis.
As of 2021, penalties for marijuana possession in Atlanta have gone against the grain of weed laws in Georgia. In following the lead of progressive areas like Portland, Maine, Atlanta has chosen not to add criminal records for teens and young adults who use cannabis in small amounts. For small, personal-use amounts of marijuana, offenders in Atlanta are issued a summons for possession of weed for a future court date instead of being arrested.
Understanding Georgia’s Cannabis Laws and Potential Marijuana Charges
Are Marijuana Possession and Usage Legal in Georgia? No, except for strict medical marijuana laws, all other forms of possession, usage, and cultivation of marijuana are illegal in Georgia.
What is the Quantity of Marijuana that Can Lead to a Felony Charge in Georgia? Possession of 1 ounce or more of marijuana is considered a felony in Georgia, which is more restrictive compared to only 5 other US states.
If you are found guilty of a marijuana offense, you could face imprisonment, hefty fines, and even suspension of your driving license, regardless of whether you were arrested in a vehicle or not. The degree of punishment is dependent on several factors, including the amount of marijuana in your possession at the time of arrest. Additionally, being caught selling, possessing with the intention of selling, or cultivating marijuana can lead to more severe consequences. Another critical consideration is the location of the alleged offense; selling drugs in the vicinity of a school can result in more severe penalties.
It is crucial to seek the assistance of a marijuana lawyer in Georgia if you have been previously convicted of marijuana-related offenses as you could face longer jail time or higher fines. Michael Fulcher, a criminal attorney in Georgia, has represented numerous clients who were charged with first-time misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases.
Defense Strategies for Marijuana Charges in Georgia
To ensure the best defense for a marijuana drug crime, it is crucial to hire a specialized attorney with a track record of defending such cases. Felony marijuana convictions can lead to jail time, fines, and a criminal record, making it important to have a skilled defense attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can negotiate for a reduced offense, dismissal of charges, or even have the case dropped entirely with a nolle prosequi. At Michael Fulcher Law our law firm, we provide free consultations with our top criminal defense lawyers in Georgia. Clients can speak directly with a partner, not an associate, at one of our four metro Atlanta offices.
If you are facing charges for illegal possession or seeking to have your record cleared, do not hesitate to contact our firm at any time. Our highly-rated criminal attorneys make it a priority to promptly return calls and offer immediate assistance. It is important to understand that the prosecuting attorney’s main objective is to secure convictions, which is why it is crucial to have a skilled legal advocate handling your case and negotiations.
Take advantage of our FREE consultation with one of our criminal justice lawyers, available by calling (706) 438-1555. If you have prior drug possession charges on your record, it is even more critical to hire an experienced Georgia marijuana attorney.
Remember, a marijuana conviction can have long-lasting consequences. Don’t wait until it’s too late; consult with our legal team today to obtain top-level legal information and guidance.