According in an article in the Huffington Post, 51% of Americans polled believe that marijuana should be legalized, tax and regulated similar to alcohol. Recent national polls also reflect that 70-80% of Americans support the legalization of medical marijuana. Approximately 20 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized medical marijuana. Many additional states are introducing legislation to legalize medical marijuana.
Although Georgia’s C.A.R.E. campaign (campaign for access, reform and education) has released a guide to enacting legislation decriminalizing medical Marijuana in Georgia, marijuana possession, sale, cultivation or distribution are still illegal in Georgia and under federal law.
Georgia Marijuana Laws
Georgia has some of the strictest laws when it comes to even simple possession of marijuana. Under Georgia law, if convicted for a first time offense for possession of less than ounce of marijuana, you could be charged with a misdemeanor, and you could face $1000 fine and 12 months in jail. Under the Georgia’s Conditional Discharge for First Offender Law (Georgia Code (O.C.G.A.) §42-8-60 et. seq., the court may defer any further proceedings against you if you have not been previously convicted of a drug offense including possession of marijuana or narcotic drugs, stimulants, depressants or hallucinogenic drugs and placed under probation in lieu of jail time. Once you complete your probation terms, the court will dismiss the case. If you violate any of the probation terms, you can be found guilty and sentenced accordingly.
For a subsequent misdemeanor marijuana possession conviction of less than one ounce, you could receive up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. For a conviction for possession of more than an ounces, you could be charged with a felony offense and receive 1-10 years in jail and various fines. Punishments are enhanced for larger quantities and for cultivation, distribution or sale.
Georgia Marijuana Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know is facing a marijuana drug charge in Georgia, you should contact a Georgia criminal defense attorney. An experienced Georgia criminal defense marijuana attorney can help you fight marijuana offense charges. The attorney can advise you if you qualify for alternative sentencing, including probation under the Georgia’s Conditional First Offender Law, and can help you negotiate a plea bargain or try and get your case dismissed for lack of evidence.
If you would like to discuss your case options contact my office immediately.