Georgia’s marijuana laws are stricter than the laws of many other states. Despite the medical marijuana exception, owning or using marijuana can lead to heavy fines and jail time. If you are a Georgia resident charged with possession of marijuana, call our office as soon as possible. Our team is experienced with many types of drug-related cases, and a consultation could lead to a pathway to a lighter sentence or a dismissed charge.
The penalties for possessing marijuana vary based on the amount of marijuana found on the defendant. If the defendant has one ounce or less, Georgia treats it as a misdemeanor punishable by one year in prison or a $1,000 fine. If the defendant has more than one ounce but less than ten pounds, the charge is a felony, and the sentence is at least one year in prison but no more than ten years.
Georgia treats the sale of marijuana and possession of ten pounds or more of marijuana in the same fashion. Both instances are treated as felonies. When the amount of marijuana is between one ounce and ten pounds, the sentence is from one to ten years in prison. Possessing or selling ten to two-thousand pounds results in a five-year prison term and a mandatory $100,000 fine. Possessing or selling two-thousand to ten-thousand pounds results in a seven-year prison term and a $250,000 fine. Fifteen years in prison and a mandatory $1,000,000 fine is the punishment for possessing or selling more than ten-thousand pounds of marijuana.
In the city of Savannah, marijuana was decriminalized on July 1, 2018. Citizens caught with marijuana for the first time will be charged a fine of no more than $150, though community service will be offered as an alternate sentence for financially-challenged defendants.
Federal law prohibits the use and sale of medical marijuana. When a federal law and state law conflict, federal law takes priority. Currently, federal law rarely intervenes in marijuana cases, but the option to do so remains a possibility.
Medical Marijuana Exception
2015-2016 House Bill 1 – also known as Haleigh’s Hope Act – became effective on April 16, 2015. The law permits Georgia citizens who have registered for a medical exemption to possess up to 20 fluid ounces of THC if prescribed by a doctor. Haleigh’s Hope Act also allows exemptions for clinical studies. However, Haleigh’s Hope Act defines having under 20 fluid ounces of THC without meeting the proper requirements as a misdemeanor. And the bill states that having over 20 fluid ounces of THC under any circumstances is a felony.
Patrick Kunes is a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). It is his duty as a lifetime member to keep current with drug laws and trial tactics. He and his team are well-versed in the procedures that the police utilize to charge the defendants, as well as the flaws and abused related to the procedures. Before going to trial, call our office at 229-382-4900 for a free consultation.