Consequences for Marijuana Possession in GA
Except in cities where it is decriminalized or if you have a medical cannabis card, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail, and possession of greater amounts is a felony.
Some states have decriminalized possession of cannabis at the state level, but federal law still considers cannabis a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning that it has no accepted medical uses. Therefore, federal law considers marijuana as illegal as heroin and even more illegal than fentanyl and cocaine. Yes, marijuana laws are confusing, and they are changing quickly. Georgia has not passed statewide laws decriminalizing cannabis possession, so this means that, in most places in Georgia, including some suburban parts of the Atlanta metropolitan area, you receive criminal charges for smoking a joint in public or carrying a baggie of marijuana in your pocket. If you are being accused of illegal possession of cannabis, contact the Norcross drug charge attorneys at Zimmerman & Associates.
Penalties for Cannabis Possession
According to Georgia law, charges of cannabis possession apply if the defendant was in possession of one ounce or less of cannabis leaves at the time of the arrest; the assumption is that the cannabis was for personal use, not for resale. In this case, cannabis possession is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail. When the amount in the defendant’s possession is more than one ounce, the state has the option to file charges of simple possession or possession with intent to deliver, but in either case, it is a felony. Felony possession of cannabis can carry a fine of up to $5,000. It also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison, but the sentence can go up to 10 years. Possession of cannabis oil or hash is also a felony, even if the amount is less than one gram or one milliliter; this also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison, but the sentence can go up to 15 years depending on the aggregate weight.
When is it Legal to Possess Cannabis in Georgia?
To make matters more confusing, cannabis possession is not illegal for everyone everywhere in Georgia. Georgia’s medical cannabis program allows enrolled patients to possess small quantities of low-THC cannabis oil, also known as CBD oil. In Atlanta, possession of less than one ounce of cannabis leaves is a civil infraction punishable by a $75 fine. In Savannah, the same law applies, except that the fine is $150. Other cities and counties in Georgia that consider possession of small quantities of cannabis a civil infraction instead of a misdemeanor include Clarkston, South Fulton, Forest Park, Kingsland, Statesboro, Macon-Bibb County, Chamblee, and Tybee Island.
Contact Zimmerman & Associates About Cannabis Possession Cases in Georgia
Possession of even a small amount of cannabis is still a crime in most places in Georgia. An Atlanta criminal defense attorney can help you if you are facing criminal charges for illegal possession of cannabis. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Norcross, Georgia to set up a free consultation.