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Marijuana still illegal in Georgia

If you are a Georgia resident who enjoys the effects from smoking marijuana and would like to be able to do so freely, without worries of prosecution, you are likely going to be disappointed.

Atlanta, arguably a more progressive Georgia city, has recently been struggling with proposals to reclassify marijuana possession of up to an ounce. Under legislation introduced by District 2 Atlanta city councilman Kwanza Hall, the reclassification would remove the threat of jail time and result in only fines and municipal sanctions, just like other ticketable offenses.

But it appears as if the council is hopelessly mired in hairsplitting over the language used in the proposal. A senior adviser to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed spoke out last month at a Public Safety Committee meeting, stating, “The administration is still concerned about the confusion that exists around this conversation, the language has been to decriminalize, to legalize and it’s neither.”

After the City Council kicked the proposed ordinance back to the Public Safety Committee, members asked for stakeholders to meet and discuss their concerns in a public meeting. Instead, the administration met with representatives from the Department of Corrections, the courts, the Atlanta Police Department and other departments outside of the public’s eye.

Other jurisdictions in and around Georgia, with one notable exception, have indicated their preference to side with the state on marijuana policies. The state administration continues to take its cues from the federal government, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, and remains illegal.

Regardless, in 2016, the city of Clarkston reduced fines and scrubbed jail terms for those arrested on simple marijuana charges.

Here in Cumming, the status quo remains, however. Those who wind up busted for possessing small amounts of cannabis face criminal charges that can and do include jail time, especially for repeat offenders.

While progressives in the state may continue the fight to hack away at draconian punishments and jail time for simple possession convictions, it remains an uphill battle in this state, at least for the time being.

The best strategy under the current laws remains to launch a vigorous defense to the allegations put forth against you in court. Your criminal defense attorney can assess your case and devise a logical and compelling argument that could culminate in an acquittal or reduction of charges.