Want to find out the answer to the question, is weed legal in Georgia? My friend, we’re here to tell you that you’re not alone. The Peach State has been and is still one of the most visited and loved destinations in the country, so, straightening this question out is just necessary – and that’s why we built this article!
Not only will you learn whether Georgia has approved medical cannabis or not, but you will also learn all the legalities revolving around it!
Georgia’s Marijuana History
Just like your typical state, Georgia’s cannabis history goes a long way! It’s not like it was just claimed to be allowed – there was some sort of buildup to it. There have been multiple occurrences in the past that led to the idea of what it is now.
So, let’s rummage through them and try to keep our feet flat to understand it fully.
1900s Marijuana in Georgia
In the late 1900s, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, several deputies and county sheriffs were prosecuted due to involvement in illicit trades.
Then, in 1983, the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted spraying illegal cannabis in the Chattahoochee National Forest using paraquat. They did this in order to stop people – authorities, in particular from further supporting the substance.
Georgia’s Policy Reforms
Because of this, the state has gone through several policy reforms in order to straighten and somehow change up the status quo of marijuana.
1980 Medical Legalization
The 1980 medical legalization has been one of the country’s first-ever reforms as regards to the consideration for medical or medicinal cannabis. It was in February the year 1980 when Mona Taft’s bill was approved, giving support to legal medical cannabis for people who are burdened by cancer and glaucoma, as well as those undergoing chemo and radiation.
2015 Medical Legalization
Almost 3 decades after, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill (HB) 1, which was the Haleigh’s Hope Act, which trailblazed medicinal cannabis, allowing it to be at least 5% THC.
Then, in 2017, a total of six (6) more medical conditions have been added, and in 2019, the legislation has finally been approved, allowing the cultivation and sale of low-THC oil cannabis in the state.
Georgia has really experienced one hell of a ride when it came to the handling of marijuana. A few notions here and there and updates everywhere – it’s really a challenge to keep everything together and intact.
So, the question still remains – is it legal in Georgia? Can people actually carry or possess it while in their state? Is it okay to smoke in public?
The Truth: Is Weed Legal in Georgia?
The most popular questions are usually the ones that involve the usage of marijuana for people who aren’t actually qualified to get medical marijuana – so, is it legal? Would there be repercussions if the feds caught you possessing it?
I don’t want to burst your bubble, but no it’s not. Marijuana or cannabis, in that sense, is not legal in the state of Georgia. The super conservative structure and composition of the legislature of the state is what’s keeping it from joining other states in the country that have lenient and cool regulations about it.
Medical Cannabis in Georgia
When HB 1 has been signed, the first-ever medical cannabis regulation in the state began. Through the years, it has expanded and widened, allowing more conditions to be eligible for medical marijuana treatment.
In case you are interested to know these conditions, they are:
|ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease (severe or end stage)||Mitochondrial disease||Multiple sclerosis (severe or end stage)|
|AIDS||Autism||Sickle cell disease (severe or end stage)|
|Cancer at end stage or experiencing wasting illness||Alzheimer’s disease||Crohn’s disease|
|Parkinson’s disease (severe or end stage)||Tourette’s syndrome||Patients in hospice care|
|Peripheral neuropathy||Epidermolysis bullosa||–|
|Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injury||Post-traumatic stress disorder||–|
The most recent addition to this list is intractable pain, which means pain that can no longer be tolerated or be solved through medication and would need a different medical approach.
Legislators approved this since no other medical care is capable of treating or cutting it. Yes, it is incurable, however, there are a few other ways of getting this and several healthcare practitioners consider cannabis to be one of the best and most natural ways of keeping everything in line.
Recreational Cannabis in Georgia
Recreational cannabis, on the other hand, is not something that’s currently allowed in the state. Some counties and cities have decriminalized it, meaning, the penalties are not serious and would only incur fines instead of having incarceration or imprisonment. Nevertheless, in the eyes of federal law, it’s still illicit.
The limited use in the form of cannabis that has less than 5% THC is only applicable to medical marijuana.
What Are the Penalties in Georgia?
Now that we’re aware of all the regulations of cannabis in the region, let us now go straight to the different penalties, fees, and offenses involved.
Take note, though, that these penalties are observed all throughout the state. Some counties might account for misdemeanor for some cases, while some might not. The law, however, utilizes this system as of writing:
Possession is in any way carrying or having cannabis with you or in your car while you are in a public place. So, the penalties for cannabis possession in Georgia would be the following:
Sale or Distribution or Delivery Penalties
Just because it’s called sale and distribution doesn’t mean that it’s always the exchange of money. Giving it as a gift is also considered distribution, so, take note. The following are the penalties for the distribution or sale of marijuana in Georgia.
Last would be cultivation or growing. Should you get caught growing marijuana in your property, you’ll be subject to the following penalties:
Have more questions you can’t wait to blurt out? We’ve gathered some of the most important and most asked questions about the legalities of cannabis in Georgia! Don’t go elsewhere for these types of information!
Can You Go to Jail For Weed in Georgia?
Yes, since marijuana is still considered illicit in the eyes of federal and state laws, you can actually go to jail and be imprisoned with a fine because of marijuana. The least sentence is a year for all violations and penalties and the maximum is 40 years, depending on the weight and the severity of your case.
Can You Smoke Weed In Public in Georgia?
No, you can’t. Not only will you pay a fine as you have committed felony, but you will also be incarcerated because of it. Even if you are an eligible and qualified medical marijuana user, it’s never right to consume cannabis in public places.
Do You Need a Weed Card in Georgia?
Yes, in order for you to obtain medical marijuana anywhere in the state, you first need to have a medical marijuana card or a Low-THC Registry card first. Without it, you will never be given cannabis in any amount.
How to Get a Weed Card in Georgia?
Getting a weed card or a medical marijuana card in the state is not that complicated. You just need to apply for a low THC registry card from a qualified physician and apply it to the necessary bodies of the government.
The common misconception about cannabis legality in the state of Georgia confuses a lot of people, especially since the decriminalization of the substance in certain areas. But, it’s imperative to take note that it being decriminalized mean that you’re already eligible to possess, carry, purchase, distribute, or consume it.
That being said, is weed legal in Georgia? We’ll leave the answer to how you want to put it, but, for now, be sure to check this all out before you plan on visiting the state so you’re safe from any violation and apprehension!