This week a bill was pre-filed in the Georgia state Senate that would effectively put an end to felony prosecutions for marijuana possession. Senate Bill 254, introduced by Sen. Harold Jones (D- Augusta) seeks to remove the one-ounce dividing line between misdemeanor (simple) marijuana possession and felony possession in Georgia by removing the weight requirement and inserting language that all possession cases are simple possession cases.
Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 16-13-31, any person who is charged with possession of marijuana,
which possession is of one ounce or less, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by imprisonment for a period not to exceed 12 months or a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, or both, or public works not to exceed 12 months.
In other words, if you are not selling, growing or trafficking marijuana then you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not that ounce you just bought was heavy.
According to James Bell, Director of the Georgia C.A.R.E. Project, the passage of this bill would signal the beginning of meaningful cannabis reform in Georgia. “Senate Bill 254 is the starting point on marijuana law reform in Georgia” Bell said. “Lawmakers understand that the public attitude toward marijuana has changed and a majority of voters support some type of reform. This bill does not legalize cannabis but it will go a long way in reducing the harm Georgia’s draconian marijuana laws have on its citizens.
Read Senate Bill 254 below or download it here.