Recent years have brought many changes to the country’s marijuana laws, at least at the state level. While Georgia has typically enforced stringent marijuana restrictions, there has been a slight loosening of the prohibitions against pot usage under House Bill 1, or the “Haleigh’s Hope Act.”
What this bill did was to permit very seriously ill patients to possess a cannabis product with only a low dose of THC, the active ingredient that gets recreational users high from the drug. But for almost all other users, the same prohibitions against marijuana use prevail.
Under current laws, those patients who are medically eligible are allowed to possess as much as 20 ounces of high-CBD cannabis oil that is low in THC content. They may not cultivate or possess the leafy part of the plant, as possession of only the oil is exempt from prosecution.
Marijuana use in Georgia will still get you busted
If you are a recreational user of marijuana in Georgia, its sale, cultivation, possession and trafficking can still land you behind bars. If there is any silver lining here, it is that some counties now allow offenders to receive treatment versus jail sentencing. But don’t let your guard down, as being caught with over an ounce of weed in your possession is a felony offense where those who are convicted face a year in jail with up to 10 years also a possibility.
Savannah is the outlier in Georgia
Back in the summer of 2018, the city of Savannah decided to take a more progressive attitude toward pot possession. If you are caught for the first time possessing marijuana, you will receive only a ticket, much like a speeding infraction. You will not go to jail and have to pay a fine that maxes out at $150, with the alternative sentencing being community service. This is the only city thus far within the state to decriminalize the recreational usage of pot.
You could wind up facing a felony charge
It is relatively easy for even a recreational user to wind up with a little over an ounce of pot in their possession. But many may not realize that their casual use of marijuana could lead to a long jail term.
Then, too, marijuana is still completely illegal under federal laws and remains classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Should you get arrested on pot charges here in Georgia, you will need to mount a stalwart defense to avoid a conviction.