Medical marijuana has been gaining increased acceptance and legalization in many states around the country, but is it legal in the state of Georgia? Medical marijuana is still illegal in Georgia. However low-THC oils are allowed for certain medical disease and conditions. In this blog, learn about the legal implications of medical marijuana in Georgia and know when you can reasonably expect to be arrested for using it.
Is Marijuana Possession Legal in Georgia?
Marijuana possession is not legal in the state of Georgia. According to current law, it is a crime to possess any amount of marijuana, and those caught with over one ounce of marijuana can be charged with a felony. Federal law still considers marijuana and marijuana products illegal and subject to criminal law enforcement through the Drug Enforcement Agency. The state of Georgia has specific laws (Georgia Controlled Substances Act -O.C.G.A. §§ 16-13-20 through 30) regarding marijuana that make personal possession and possession with intent to distribute, sell, deliver or distribute very much illegal.
Though some citizens would like to expand the use of medical marijuana, given the conservative factions in the state, such expansion has not met with success. Possession of marijuana remains illegal under both federal and state statutes, and violators can face serious consequences if convicted.
Medical Marijuana in Georgia
Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly accepted as a viable source of relief for certain medical conditions and diseases. According to the Mayo Clinic, “medical marijuana is a term for derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant that are used to ease symptoms caused by certain medical conditions.”
According to Georgia’s Access to Medical Cannabis Commission, Georgia “does not legalize the growing, sale, or possession of marijuana in plant or leaf form.” Under Georgia’s medical cannabis regulations, you may, if qualified, use low-THC Cannabis oil for certain medical conditions or diseases. You must register with the state to possess up to 20 ounces of low-THC cannabis oil at a time and low-THC is defined as cannabis oil containing less than 5% THC.
In 2015, the state of Georgia approved the use of low-THC oil for individuals who suffer from certain illnesses and insisted that those who qualify, register with the state’s Low THC Oil Registry. Other than that the low THC oil, other marijuana products still remain illegal.
Georgia’s Low-THC Oil Law
Georgia law (O.C.G.A. §16-12-191) states three components must be present for lawful possession of low-THC oil:
- the total amount of low-THC oil is 20 fluid ounces (or less);
- the person is registered with, and has in his or her possession a registration card issued by, the Georgia Department of Public Health; and
- the low-THC oil is in a pharmaceutical container labeled as such by the manufacturer indicating the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol therein.
Georgia law is limited when it comes to medical marijuana and is likely more limited than other states as it only allows specifically low-THC oil with a maximum of 5% THC.
Penalties for Possession of Marijuana
The penalties for possessing marijuana products including high level cannabis oil can be harsh. If convicted, you may have a misdemeanor or felony conviction, serve jail time, and have to pay fines. For example, if you possess less than 1 ML of a liquid substance of a concentrate higher than the allowed less than 5%THC, you could face up to 3 years in prison, a $5,000 fine, and a felony on your record.
Can I Get Arrested in Georgia for “Medical Marijuana”?
So the simple answer is yes you can get arrested for medical marijuana because Georgia does not currently legally differentiate medical marijuana from recreational marijuana. Only the low-THC cannabis oil is legal and then not for for recreational use. Georgia allows access to the oil for those with a registry card from the medical cannabis commission and for use for certain diagnosed conditions. As stated earlier, Georgia has not legalize the growing, selling, or possession of marijuana in plant or leaf form and has limits on THC oil products.
If you are allowed in your home state to possess and use medical marijuana or other marijuana products for medicinal or recreational use, do not assume you are okay to do so in Georgia. Also transporting marijuana products or paraphernalia into Georgia would be illegal.
If arrested in the Savannah Area, Contact Criminal Defense Attorneys From Phillips Carson Phillips Law Firm
The attorneys of Phillips Carson Phillips are experienced in all aspects of criminal defense If you are facing any type of drug charges including possession, distribution, manufacturing, and cultivation, contact us for help. Contact Phillips Carson Phillips by calling (912) 232-0081 or using our online contact form.