Anti-drug Legislation Analysis
May 21, 2012
Possession of marijuana is against the law under most circumstances. While some states and cities have their own laws that allow certain quantities of the drug to be possessed for medical purposes, such possession may still be a crime under federal law. If someone is found with marijuana, there may be charges of possession, intent to distribute, trafficking, transporting, possession of paraphernalia, cultivation, DUI and DWI, and weapons charge. These charges will be analyzed under the state of Georgia Statues that criminalize marijuana possession.
In Georgia, possessing less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense. The punishment is up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1000. However, you may be placed on probation in lieu of jail time. Another punishment of possessing less than an ounce of marijuana is driver’s license suspension for 180 days. A complete DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and $200 license reinstatement is required. A second misdemeanor offense within five years will result in license suspension for one year. If the possession carries one or more ounces of marijuana, a felony charge takes place. The punishment includes one to ten years in prison along with a more expensive fine. Possession of marijuana within 1000 feet of a school, playground, park, or drug-free commercial zone can bring up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000. A second offense brings 5-40 years in prison and fines of up to $40,000.
A marijuana possession with the intent to distribute carries serve penalties. This felony offense includes prison time as well as fines starting in the thousands. If a large quantity of marijuana is in your possession, a charge of intent to distribute will exist even if there is not intent to distribute. If more than ten pounds but less than 2,000 pounds of marijuana is possessed, there is a mandatory minimum...