Most voters in Georgia now say that marijuana should be legal for recreational purposes, according to an exclusive poll commissioned by 11Alive News and conducted by SurveyUSA.
Georgia Marijuana News and Politics
Isakson, Johnny - (R - GA)
131 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Sen. Isakson is up for re-election in 2016
Perdue, David - (R - GA)
383 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
State marijuana law from FindLaw.com:
While Georgia traditionally has had quite strict laws regarding the use of cannabis, the Peach State allows the very limited use of the herb. House Bill 1, also known as the "Haleigh's Hope Act," permits eligible patients to possess cannabis oil with a low percentage of THC (which produces the "high"). This is subject to change, as this area of law and regulation continues to evolve.
Here’s a look at the current state of Georgia marijuana laws.
Marijuana Under Georgia Law
The possession, sale, trafficking, and cultivation of marijuana is illegal in most states, although a few states tightly regulate its recreational use (with varying approaches to retail sales and home cultivation). However, roughly half of all states allow the medicinal use of cannabis. Georgia marijuana laws are relatively strict, but many counties in the state offer alternative sentencing programs for offenders, which offer treatment in lieu of jail time. Possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana is a felony in Georgia, punishable by one to 10 years in prison.
Marijuana Policy Project on Georgia:
Last update: October 5, 2015
ACLU study shows Georgia’s harsh marijuana laws result in racially disproportionate arrest rates
Georgia has some of the most punitive marijuana laws in the country, with possession of a mere two ounces being punishable by up to 10 years in prison. It’s clear these laws have not been successful, and new evidence shows that Georgia’s laws are not being evenly enforced.
A 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, blacks in Georgia are 3.7 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Georgia’s low-THC oil medical cannabis law moves forward
Haleigh’s Hope Act, which allows some seriously ill patients to possess oils containing CBD and small amounts of THC, became law in April 2015. According to news reports, hundreds of patients in the state are now part of the state registry. Unfortunately, the law leaves the vast majority of medical marijuana patients behind. In addition, the law falls short because there is no legal way for cannabis to be produced, refined, or distributed within Georgia, leaving families with no in-state access. Several have uprooted so that at least two family members could establish residency in Colorado, which allows in-state access. For a quick look at the law, take a look at our summary here.
Fortunately, the governor established a commission to look at aspects of the law, and the sponsor of Haleigh’s Hope Act, Rep. Allen Peake, is its chairman. He and other members of the commission are considering ways the law may be improved, and the commission will take those suggestions back to the governor before the end of the year. In addition, Rep. Michael Gravely recently signaled he will present legislation during next year’s session that would establish a workable system to cultivate, process, and distribute cannabis oil under the state’s low-THC program.
Georgia Cannabis News