Proof of marijuana possession faces challenge

Laws governing marijuana possession are changing in much of the nation. The state of Georgia recently passed a law called the Georgia Hemp Farming Act.  The law legalized the growing of hemp in Georgia. The hemp plant is virtually indistinguishable from the marijuana plant, but hemp contains far less THC, the ingredient that causes a high, than marijuana does. The law has created some confusion among law enforcement officials regarding marijuana possession.

The equipment currently used to test a substance to see if it is marijuana looks only for the presence of THC. It does not look for a certain amount. Therefore, a person could theoretically be accused of marijuana possession, which is illegal, even if the substance was actually hemp, which is legal under the new law.

If an officer suspects that a substance is marijuana, it is still permissible for the officer to seize it. Once new equipment arrives that accurately measures the amount of THC present the substance will be tested. If the test shows more than 0.3% THC, a warrant will be issued for the arrest of the person from whom it was seized.

This may be a confusing time for people in Georgia. A person who is accused of marijuana possession and believes that the substance is hemp has every right to confer with legal counsel. A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. A guilty verdict must be supported by the evidence presented and the rules of evidence must have been properly observed.

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