Marijuana Laws in Georgia 2022

Marijuana Laws in Georgia 2022

Cannabis Laws in Georgia 2022

Although many people consider marijuana to be no big deal, the State of Georgia disagrees. This article presents information on Georgia marijuana laws and penalties for marijuana-related charges.

Marijuana Drug Laws in Georgia

In Georgia, possession, sale, trafficking, and cultivation of marijuana is illegal. Georgia marijuana laws do allow for certain clinical use of marijauna, however; even this legal use has strict requirements. While some areas in Georgia may address minor possession with a citation, marijuana charges can bring serious legal problems. Georgia does not allow for recreational marijuana use.

Some marijuana criminal arrests in Georgia may also bring federal criminal drug charges.

Marijuana Charges and Penalties

Each arrest for violating marijuana laws has its own unique circumstances. The unique circumstances, and the prosecuting jurisdiction, make it almost impossible to assure any specific outcome .

Medical Marijuana – Legal Possession

People with prescriptions may possess up to 20 ounces of low-THC oil. In 2015, Georgia passed a law that allows people with certain medical conditions to ingest medical marijuana. Regarding the ability to purchase medicla marijuana in Georgia, a 2020 article by 11-Alive news states, “But when it comes down to the law, right now, is it legal to buy medical marijuana in Georgia? We went directly to the source, the State Department of Health Resource Page on the drug – and the answer is in black and white: No. You cannot buy marijuana in Georgia. So we can verify that’s true. There is still no legal way to get medical marijuana in Georgia. “1

Marijuana Possession Penalties

  • 1 ounce or less: Misdemeanor, 1 year incarceration or $1,000 fine
  • Between 1 oz and 10 lbs.: Felony, 1-10 years incarceration
  • More than 10 pounds is considered trafficking

Marijuana Distribution, Sale, Trafficking Penalties

  • 10 pounds or less: felony, 1-10 years incarceration
  • 10-2000 pounds.: felony, 5 years incarceration + mandatory $100,000 fine
  • 2000-10,000 pounds.: 7 years incarceration + mandatory $250,000 fine
  • Over 10,000 pounds.: 15 years incarceration + mandatory $1,000,000 fine

Marijuana Paraphernalia

Per Georgia Code §16-13-32.2, it is illegal to use or possess, with intent to use, any device or materials designed to plant, grow, propagate, manufacture, harvest, produce, analyze, test, package, repackage, store, contain, conceal, inhale, ingest, inject, or otherwise introduce a controlled substance or cannabis into the human body. Any person or corporation which violates any provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Many common huosehold items could be alleged by a hyper aggressive prosecutor to be paraphernalia. For this reason, if you are arrested for possession of marijuana, and have any such things in your possession, you could face additional charges. Examples of items that are always considered drug paraphernalia are: smoking pipes, power hitters, bongs, and rolling papers.

Police also consider items with drug residue or resin to be paraphernalia. This could be hemostats, roach clips, currency, razor blades, baggies, containers, spoons, scales, and more.

More information can be found on the Grisham, Poole, & Carlile website which states, “Drug paraphernalia criminal charges in Georgia are serious. Prosecutors routinely prosecute paraphernalia charges with no interest in dismissing or reducing the charges. “2.

Drug Paraphernalia Penalties , for marijuana, controlled substances, narcotics and other illegal substances include jail time and fines. Specifically, marijuana laws have penalties as follows:

  • First Offense: misdemeanor, jail time up to one year and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.
  • Second Offense: maximum jail term of one year and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Third Offense: incarceration one-five years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.

Federal Marijuana Laws and Penalties

There are federal marijuana laws with charges for marijuana possession, sale, cultivation, distribution, and sale of paraphernalia. The NORML website states, “Marijuana possession remains a federal offense, and the federal law applies to offenses committed on federal property, which includes the Capitol grounds and the mall within DC, as well as all national parks and military property nationwide, and other land under federal control. Federal law also applies to offenses involving interstate commerce and importation from other countries.”3

For more information, you may visit the NORML website to learn about Federal marijuana crime penalties.

Medical Marijuana Laws

Georgia has a State regulated medical marjuana program. Georgia medical marijuana laws in 2022 are soon to be revised. A recent article on the MarijuanaMoment.com website states, “If the bill passes the Senate and receives Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature, the state will be required to obtain low-THC cannabis oil “from any available legal source” by August 1 and begin providing it to patients now on the state registry by August 15, 2022. The state will also cancel the previous application process and begin anew, choosing another six providers.”. 4

Regarding legalizing recreational use, Georgia State Rep Ed Setzler recently stated, “There’s a movement behind the scenes, and it’s very soon going to be out in the open, that’s going to be monetizing this process to push for full-on what you would call marijuana and making Georgia a recreational state,” he said. “That’s coming. The money behind this, that’s protecting these [requests for proposals], is driving this, it’s a nationwide movement, it is coming to Georgia. And they see this process as just a step in that direction.”.

Marijuana Laws in Georgia – § 16-13-30

  • (a) Except as authorized by this article, it is unlawful for any person to purchase, possess, or have under his or her control any controlled substance.
  • (b) Except as authorized by this article, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, administer, sell, or possess with intent to distribute any controlled substance.
  • (c) Except as otherwise provided, any person who violates subsection (a) of this Code section with respect to a controlled substance in Schedule I or a narcotic drug in Schedule II shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as follows:
  • (1) If the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is less than one gram of a solid substance, less than one milliliter of a liquid substance, or if the substance is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of less than one gram, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years;
  • (2) If the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is at least one gram but less than four grams of a solid substance, at least one milliliter but less than four milliliters of a liquid substance, or if the substance is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of at least one gram but less than four grams, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than eight years;  and
  • (3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, if the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is at least four grams but less than 28 grams of a solid substance, at least four milliliters but less than 28 milliliters of a liquid substance, or if the substance is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of at least four grams but less than 28 grams, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 15 years.
  • (B) This paragraph shall not apply to morphine, heroin, opium, or any substance identified in subparagraph (RR) or (SS) of paragraph (1) or paragraph (13), (14), or (15) of Code Section 16-13-25 , or subparagraph (A), (C.5), (F), (U.1), (V), or (V.2) of paragraph (2) of Code Section 16-13-26 or any salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer;  rather, the provisions of Code Section 16-13-31 shall control these substances.
  • (d) Except as otherwise provided, any person who violates subsection (b) of this Code section with respect to a controlled substance in Schedule I or Schedule II shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 30 years.  Upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, he or she shall be imprisoned for not less than ten years nor more than 40 years or life imprisonment.  The provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 17-10-7 shall not apply to a sentence imposed for a second such offense;  provided, however, that the remaining provisions of Code Section 17-10-7 shall apply for any subsequent offense.
  • (e) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this Code section with respect to a controlled substance in Schedule II, other than a narcotic drug, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as follows:
  • (1) If the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is less than two grams of a solid substance, less than two milliliters of a liquid substance, or if the substance is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of less than two grams, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years;
  • (2) If the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is at least two grams but less than four grams of a solid substance, at least two milliliters but less than four milliliters of a liquid substance, or if the substance is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of at least two grams but less than four grams, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than eight years;  and
  • (3) If the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is at least four grams but less than 28 grams of a solid substance, at least four milliliters but less than 28 milliliters of a liquid substance, or if the substance is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of at least four grams but less than 28 grams, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 15 years.
  • (f) Upon a third or subsequent conviction for a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section with respect to a controlled substance in Schedule I or II or subsection (i) of this Code section, such person shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not to exceed twice the length of the sentence applicable to the particular crime.
  • (g) Except as provided in subsection (l) of this Code section, any person who violates subsection (a) of this Code section with respect to a controlled substance in Schedule III, IV, or V shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than three years.  Upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense, he or she shall be imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than five years.
  • (h) Any person who violates subsection (b) of this Code section with respect to a controlled substance in Schedule III, IV, or V shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years.
  • (i)(1) Except as authorized by this article, it is unlawful for any person to possess or have under his or her control a counterfeit substance.  Any person who violates this paragraph shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than two years.
  • (2) Except as authorized by this article, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, administer, purchase, sell, or possess with intent to distribute a counterfeit substance.  Any person who violates this paragraph shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years.
  • (j)(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, have under his or her control, manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, administer, purchase, sell, or possess with intent to distribute marijuana.
  • (2) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 16-13-31 or in Code Section 16-13-2 , any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years.
  • (k) It shall be unlawful for any person to hire, solicit, engage, or use an individual under the age of 17 years, in any manner, for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing, on behalf of the solicitor, any controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or marijuana unless the manufacturing, distribution, or dispensing is otherwise allowed by law.  Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 20 years or by a fine not to exceed $20,000.00, or both.
  • (l)(1) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this Code section with respect to flunitrazepam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as follows:
  • (A) If the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is less than two grams of a solid substance of flunitrazepam, less than two milliliters of liquid flunitrazepam, or if flunitrazepam is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of less than two grams, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than three years;
  • (B) If the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is at least two grams but less than four grams of a solid substance of flunitrazepam, at least two milliliters but less than four milliliters of liquid flunitrazepam, or if the flunitrazepam is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of at least two grams but less than four grams, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than eight years;  and
  • (C) If the aggregate weight, including any mixture, is at least four grams of a solid substance of flunitrazepam, at least four milliliters of liquid flunitrazepam, or if the flunitrazepam is placed onto a secondary medium with a combined weight of at least four grams, by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 15 years.
  • (2) Any person who violates subsection (b) of this Code section with respect to flunitrazepam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 30 years.  Upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, such person shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten years nor more than 40 years or life imprisonment.  The provisions of subsection (a) of Code Section 17-10-7 shall not apply to a sentence imposed for a second such offense, but that subsection and the remaining provisions of Code Section 17-10-7 shall apply for any subsequent offense.
  • (m) As used in this Code section, the term “solid substance” means a substance that is not in a liquid or gas form.  Such term shall include tablets, pills, capsules, caplets, powder, crystal, or any variant of such items.

Marijana laws are subject to revisions, and this article is not intended to be legal advice. If you are dealing with any marijuana-related charges you should contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

FOOTNOTES

  • 1 Kaitlyn Ross, “VERIFY: Is it still illegal to buy medical marijuana in Georgia?”, September 21, 2020, Available from 11-Alive News
  • 2 Staff writer, “Drug Paraphernalia Lawyer”, April 22, 2020, Available from Grisham, Poole, &Carlile, P.C.
  • 3 Staff writer, “Federal Laws and Penalties”, June 23, 2020, Available from NORML
  • 4 Staff Writer, “Georgia House And Senate Pass Differing Medical Marijuana Bills To Jumpstart Stalled Program”, March 16, 2022, Available from Marijuana Moment