Marijuana Laws in Georgia
The legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic lately with more than half of states having legalized it for either recreational or medicinal use. Currently, in the state of Georgia, marijuana has not been legalized and is considered a crime, as it is considered a schedule I controlled substance. Although still federally illegal through the Controlled Substances Act, the state of Georgia only provides limited access of medical CBD oil, which contains cannabis extracts high in CBD and low in THC under a few certain severe conditions. Georgia law only allows residents to obtain up to 20 fluid ounces of the oil if they have one of the 14 listed disorders: Cancer, Crohn's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease, Mitochondrial disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Seizure disorders, Sickle cell disease, Tourette's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum disorder, Epidermolysis bullosa, Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, and Peripheral Neuropathy. Despite legalization in many states, Georgia accounts for around 30,000 arrests per year for either possession of marijuana or distribution. Many issues may arise with a conviction of marijuana that may severely affect your future. Under current Georgia law, you can be charged with possession of marijuana even if you are not physically holding it, as long as it is in a reachable area. This could be somewhere in your car, in your desk, or even under a rug.
How to Obtain a Low THC Oil Registry Card Permit in Georgia
First, you must qualify as having one or more of the 14 listed diseases and have been a resident of Georgia for at least one year. To apply for the permit, your treating physician must send in an application with a waiver form and a certification form. If qualified, the Department of Health will create a Low THC Oil Registry Card and charge a fee of $25 per new card valid for two years from the date it is issued.
Where Can I Buy Low THC Oil?
The new law does not address how low THC oil is made, purchased or shipped. The law only creates a procedure to ensure qualified persons will be protected from prosecution for having it in their possession. The Georgia Department of Public Health does not prescribe or dispense low THC oil, and the possession of any form of marijuana by an unauthorized person remains illegal.
Penalties for Marijuana Use, Possession and Sales.
Marijuana charges in the state of Georgia have punishments ranging from first offense misdemeanors up to felony charges for more then one ounce. Possession charges on your record can have some serious future consequences that may impact future employment, school admissions, scholarships, and military enlistment just to name a few.
Marijuana Possession Laws (Less then one ounce) Misdemeanor
Under Georgia law, if you are caught with less than one ounce of marijuana, it is considered a misdemeanor with a potential maximum of 12 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Charges may be less if it is a first offense. If you are a first offender , you may plead NOLO, do a conditional discharge program, or use your first offender to expunge your record.
Felony Marijuana Possession (over one ounce)
If you are caught with over once ounce of marijuana, you can face some serious felony charges. Potential charges can rage from 1-10 years in prison and more then $1,000 in fines. Anything over 10 pounds is automatically considered trafficking. Additional paraphernalia such as scales and baggies can be used as evidence for distribution.
Violations that take place within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground, recreation center, public housing project, or commercial drug-free zone have additional penalties. Penalties can include added fees and added jail time.
Forfeiture of a Vehicle
Many people are surprised to learn that their property can be seized if they are suspected of engaging in criminal activity such as drug sales of other drug crimes. Vehicles, money and other personal assets can be taken by the police if the property is somehow linked to suspected criminal activity and or more then 4oz of Marijuana.