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Marijuana and the law in Georgia

Marijuana law reform has been a popular issue in recent years. At this point, over half of the nation has some sort of medical marijuana program and a good handful of states also allow for some type of recreational use. While Georgia still strictly regulates the use of cannabis, state laws have been changing.

With the amount of changes that have been made to marijuana laws in recent times, it can be difficult and confusing to know exactly what is considered to be legal and illegal under state law. Even with recent changes in Georgia marijuana policy, a conviction of a marijuana-related crime can still have serious consequences.

What is Georgia's marijuana policy?

As of right now, the state of Georgia has a medical cannabis program in place and that program is still expanding. However, the regulations regarding the legal use of cannabis are very strict and the recreational use of marijuana is still illegal.

· Medical use

According to Georgia House Bill 1, also known as Haleigh's Hope Act, patients are allowed to use certain medical marijuana medications if they suffer from serious illnesses such as,

o Cancer

o Seizure disorders

o Sickle cell disease

o Chron's disease

o Lou Gehrig's disease

It is important to note that medical marijuana can only be used in the form of a cannabis oil that is low in THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis responsible for the "high") and high in CBD (the pain-killing component present in cannabis). The use and/or possession of marijuana in its flower or plant form is still illegal.

· Recreational use

According to state law, the recreational use of marijuana is still illegal. Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor and can result in a year of jail time and a fine of $1,000. The possession of more than 1 ounce is a felony and has a mandatory minimum sentence of a year in prison and a fine up to $5,000.

If a person is convicted of possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, it is a felony that can result in 1 to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. The sale or cultivation of marijuana is also equally illegal.

Even though marijuana laws are changing and continue to change, being convicted of a marijuana-related crime can still result in very serious consequences and they should not be taken lightly. If you have been charged with such a crime, it is highly recommended that you obtain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional.

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