Currently in the state of Georgia, misdemeanor possession of cannabis represents one ounce or less of the drug. The punishment for this crime is currently a $1000 fine and up to 12 months in jail. However, there is a movement to decriminalize low-level possession of cannabis, meaning that the punishment would be a fine and no term of imprisonment or incarceration.
Supporters of the decriminalization movement argue that the current penalties for misdemeanor possession are too harsh and disproportionately affect minorities. They also argue that marijuana is not as harmful as other drugs and that criminalizing its possession does more harm than good.
Recently, Athens-Clarke county reduced the find for possession of small amounts of marijuana to $35, the lowest in the state. Read our article on this recent development here.
Stonecrest, Georgia has decriminalized the possession of an ounce or less of cannabis, meaning that those caught with the drug will now face a $100 fine instead of jail time. Supporters of the measure argue that it will free up law enforcement resources and allow people to avoid criminal records for something that is relatively minor. Critics say that the change will lead to more widespread marijuana use and could have negative consequences for the community.
Stonecrest, GA Mayor Jazzmin Cobble announced that the city has approved an ordinance decriminalizing cannabis possession. The new ordinance will reduce the number of people incarcerated for low-level cannabis possession. The Municipal Court of Stonecrest, which backed the reforms, said the enforcement of possession laws “has fallen disproportionately on certain subsets of the population.
Chatham County DA Shalena Cook Jones said she will no longer prosecute cannabis possession cases dealing with less than one ounce unless other felony charges are involved.