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Marijuana possession: Time for a change?

With the nation in the midst of some tangible unrest, many states are considering various reformations to current laws and policies that it’s residents, as a majority, feel are unfair. Georgia legislature will be looking at a bill that primarily focuses on law enforcement policies and procedures but also includes other issues, like changing the penalties for marijuana possession. The bill is called The Georgia Justice Act. 

The portion of the bill that addresses cannabis suggests the statewide decriminalization of marijuana. This does not mean it would be legal for persons without a medical marijuana card to have, use or sell marijuana, but it would lessen the penalties if a person gets caught with a small amount. Other states already have similar laws in place, and many feel like Georgia is a bit behind the times on the issue. 

Advocates for the change say that with all of the modern research that suggests marijuana is not a dangerous drug like heroin or methamphetamine, for example, the penalties for getting caught with a small amount do not reflect this knowledge. Georgia already has a medical marijuana program, meaning for a person with a card, it is a helpful medicine, while someone without a card could wind up doing months or even years in jail for merely possessing a small amount. The bill will not be voted on until later this year, and for now, the strict penalties that many feel are outdated and unfair remain in place. 

Currently, an individual charged with marijuana possession in Georgia has good reason to fear hefty fines or incarceration, which can lead to financial troubles, loss of employment, and a reputation as a drug addict or criminal. If a person in this situation is preparing for court, he or she may want to contact an experienced attorney. An attorney can present solid evidence and expert testimony to help a defendant work towards a favorable verdict.