To many across the nation, it may seem like more and more people are being arrested for drug-related crimes. Drug possession charges regarding small amounts of marijuana have become particularly common. There are many people who believe that the punishment for these crimes is too extreme. In fact, some counties in Georgia are considering greatly reducing these punishments.
As of now, the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a criminal offense. Atlanta authorities make around 1,000 marijuana possession-related arrests each year. Many of these people are given fines, and some are even sentenced to up to six months in jail.
There are a number of people who believe that decriminalizing marijuana is a step that needs to be taken. If the new ordinance is passed then the punishment for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana would be greatly reduced. Jail time would be completely eliminated as a punishment option. Offenders would be fined, but the fine would be capped at $75.
More and more people in Georgia are becoming aware of how the punishments for marijuana possession affect law enforcement and others. Until lawmakers agree that changes must be made and then take the steps to make those changes, the current punishments will continue to be carried out. For now, those that have been charged with drug possession, including marijuana possession, have every right to contact an attorney. An attorney may be able to help his or her client prepare and present an effective defense against the charges.
Source: Atlanta Patch, “Marijuana Possession May Be Decriminalized In Fulton County“, Doug Gross, Feb. 7, 2018