Marijuana Laws in Georgia

While marijuana has been legalized in other states across the country such as California, Washington, and Colorado, possession and other activities involving this drug remain a crime in Georgia. Earlier in 2020, lawmakers in the state included an attachment to a policing reform bill that included decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana possession but the bill never passed. Therefore, it is important to understand the potential consequences you face if you are found possessing or distributing recreational marijuana in the state.

Arrested for marijuana possession in Marietta or southeast Georgia? Call Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C. at (770) 629-0154 to arrange for a consultation with a criminal defense lawyer.

Current Laws on Possession & Other Marijuana Activities

Current Georgia law has the following potential penalties regarding marijuana:

  • Possession of one ounce or less – a misdemeanor carrying up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
  • Possession of more than one ounce – a felony punishable by one up to 10 years and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Possession with intent to distribute 10 pounds or less – a felony carrying one to 10 years and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Possession with intent to distribute 10 – 2,000 pounds – a felony carrying five to 30 years with a fine of up to $100,000
  • Possession with intent to distribute 2,000 up to 10,000 pounds – a felony carrying seven up to 30 years and a fine of up to $250,000
  • Possession with intent to distribute more than 10,000 pounds – a felony carrying 15 up to 30 years and a fine of up to $1,000,000
  • Possession within 1,000 feet of a drug-free zone such as a school or park – a felony carrying five up to 40 years and a fine of up to $40,000
  • Possession of marijuana paraphernalia – a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000

All of the above felonies include mandatory minimum sentences as prescribed by law.

First-time marijuana misdemeanor offenders in the state may get off with conditional discharges in some cases that would include only paying fines and completion of community service hours. In some Georgia cities, marijuana has also been decriminalized altogether. For instance, Atlanta decriminalized the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in October 2017. Its city-wide ordinance calls for only a $75 fine. In Savannah, as well, a law was passed that punishes possession of less than ounce with a ticket resulting in a fine of only $150.

More Serious Marijuana Crimes

When it comes to selling, distributing, or cultivating marijuana, Georgia law gets tougher. Any crime involving the sale, delivery, or cultivation of marijuana is charged as a felony. How you are punished in such crimes depends on the quantity of marijuana found in your possession. Prison times range from one to 40 years and fines range from $5,000 up to $1,000,000. Selling or distributing it in a drug-free zone such as a school or park is also a separate felony crime carrying fines and prison time.

Possession and other crimes involving marijuana also remain illegal under federal law through the Controlled Substances Act.

Medical marijuana is legal in the state for those who are eligible as patients. These individuals are allowed up to 20 ounces of low THC cannabis oil.

Have You Been Arrested for a Marijuana Offense in or around Marietta?

A criminal arrest is typically a frightening and stressful experience, especially if you have never been in this situation before. You may have little understanding of your rights and what to do. It is vitally important that you seek trusted legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney can make a significant difference in how your case unfolds, how you are treated, whether you have a fair experience, and the consequences you may face.

If you have been arrested for a crime, whether it involves marijuana, other illegal drugs, or another offense, we urge you to reach out to Busch, Reed, Jones & Leeper, P.C. We have the knowledge, experience, and drive you need at this difficult time. We are dedicated to helping you obtain the best possible legal result, whether it is a case dismissal, reduction of charges or sentencing, diversion program, or some other positive outcome.

Contact our firm at (770) 629-0154 to book a free, initial consultation with a Marietta attorney today.