Georgia Cannabis Laws You Definitely Need to Know!

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

 

 

Cannabis, a plant with various compounds like THC and CBD, can impact the human body and mind. Its usage varies for medical, recreational, or spiritual purposes, subject to state and country regulations. Despite potential benefits, cannabis remains controversial and illegal in many places due to health, safety, and societal concerns. In this article, we’ll delve into Georgia’s cannabis laws, focusing on residents and visitors.

Cannabis Legality in Georgia

In short, recreational cannabis use is illegal in Georgia, aligning with federal law classifying cannabis as a Schedule I drug. This designation implies no recognized medical use and a high potential for abuse. Possession, cultivation, distribution, and consumption carry penalties, ranging from fines to imprisonment. Georgia upholds stringent cannabis laws, tolerating no form of cannabis-related activity.

Medical Cannabis Program in Georgia

Georgia’s limited medical cannabis program permits qualified patients with specific conditions to use low-THC cannabis oil, containing less than 5% THC. Oversight falls under the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Georgia Composite Medical Board (GCMB). However, cultivation, production, or dispensing within the state is prohibited, compelling patients to seek medicine from potentially illegal or risky sources.

Qualifying Conditions for the Medical Cannabis Program in Georgia

Patients must have severe or end-stage conditions, including cancer, ALS, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s disease, sickle cell disease, Tourette’s syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (for adults or severe cases in minors), epidermolysis bullosa, Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, peripheral neuropathy, intractable pain, or PTSD.

Penalties for Cannabis Possession in Georgia

Cannabis possession is illegal in Georgia, with penalties varying based on amount and intent:

  • Possession of 1 ounce or less: Misdemeanor, up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Possession of more than 1 ounce: Felony, 1 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Possession with intent to distribute: Felony, 1 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Possession within 1,000 feet of specified areas: Felony, 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000.

Decriminalization in Georgia

Some cities and counties in Georgia have decriminalized small-scale cannabis possession, treating it as a civil infraction rather than a criminal offense. However, state law prevails, allowing state authorities to enforce criminal penalties regardless of local ordinances.

Future of Cannabis Legalization in Georgia

Georgia’s conservative stance makes the future of cannabis legalization uncertain. While some bills propose changes, including cultivation, medical use expansion, or decriminalization, the outcome remains uncertain.

Conclusion

In summary, recreational cannabis use is illegal in Georgia, with strict laws and penalties. Limited medical use exists, but strict regulations hinder access. Possession penalties are severe, with minimal decriminalization in specific areas. The future of cannabis legalization in Georgia remains uncertain, though legislative initiatives offer hope for potential changes.

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