Cultural attitudes about marijuana around the United States have shifted dramatically in recent years. Where many people once believed that all marijuana users and suppliers belonged in jail, most people now view marijuana use as a victimless crime.
Law enforcement and the courts in Georgia, however, do not share this view. In fact, certain marijuana possession offenses are felony crimes, including possession of more than an ounce or possession of any amount of marijuana extracts.
Marijuana extracts are increasingly popular, but the people who get caught in possession of these substances face serious criminal charges and penalties. When you consider that possession of natural-state marijuana is a misdemeanor for amounts under an ounce, it may not make much sense that people risk felony charges to use an extract instead.
Why are marijuana extracts so popular?
Hash, a pressed form of concentrate made by removing and compacting dried marijuana resin, has been around for many centuries. More modern forms of marijuana extracts and concentrates get made by using a solvent, like butane, to pull the active chemicals out of dried marijuana plants. These extracts go by many names, including BHO (butane hash oil), wax, dabs, glass, shatter or just oil.
Many people who once smoked natural-state marijuana are now using extracts instead, particularly younger people. There are a number of reasons for the growing popularity of this product. First, marijuana extracts are substantially more potent than natural-state marijuana. This means users have to consume less for the same effects. For those with serious medical conditions, like cancer or epilepsy, extracts may be the only way to get a sufficient dose of the active compounds they need.
Extracts also have less of a smell, making it easier to carry on your person or in a vehicle without someone noticing. Finally, many younger users are more health-conscious, and extracts are consumed by vaporizing instead of smoking, which could be better for your lungs.
What are Georgia penalties for marijuana extracts?
As noted before, possession of any amount of a marijuana extract, whether it’s pressed hashish or butane extract, is a felony. Any tiny amount, up to one gram of solid extract or one milliliter of a liquid, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of a year in jail, but up to three years, as well as a $5,000 fine. Possession of more than one gram but less than four, or more than one milliliter but less than four, carries a minimum of a year in jail, but as many as eight, as well as a $5,000 fine.
These penalties come with a felony drug conviction that could prevent you from getting student loans, finding a job or securing a place to live.