- Hammond Lewis
Cannabis Decriminalization in Georgia Slow-Going. Get a Medical Marijuana Card to Stay Protected!
Georgia has been at the blunt end of a lot of cannabis controversies this year.
While the medical marijuana program is underway and its processes and proceedings are in question by citizens and media alike, smaller towns and cities are trying to cope with the fact that harsh sentencing and overtly criminal prosecution for small amounts of cannabis is still highly pursued in their districts.
Gwinnet County is one of those areas, where committee members recommended decriminalizing cannabis back in May of 2021.
And although it has certainly become easier to get a medical marijuana card in Georgia, for those without the state-sponsored certification, harsh jail times and penalties are still a major concern.
Gwinnet County Flirts with Weak Cannabis Decriminalization
In May of 2021, the Gwinnet County Police Citizen’s Advisory Board put forth a recommendation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Currently in Gwinnet County, possession of less than an ounce of cannabis can mean prison time for up to a year, and or a fine of up to one thousand dollars, the same penalties that the state of Georgia enforces.
Under the proposed changes, a person in Gwinnet County could receive a citation and a $150 fine, or community service for possession of less than an ounce of cannabis, however under the proposed changes, officers would still be able to enforce the contradictory state law, administering harsher penalties and prison time regardless of the new policy.
Gwinnet County Delays Vote on Cannabis Decriminalization – Fancy Words with No Action
Despite the abysmal reality that the proposed change to “policy” does no more than offer an alternative-on-paper to penalize recreational cannabis possession in a potentially lighter way, Gwinnet County has decided to delay the vote on its lackluster decriminalization.
The reason for the delay is cited from Commissioner Kirkland Carden, who was quoted in October saying:
“After talking with my colleagues during the informal discussion (earlier Tuesday), folks just felt we needed to get more consensus from organizations or folks that would be impacted if you decriminalize small amounts of marijuana,”
The Commissioner has spearheaded the opportunity to introduce a cannabis decriminalization effort, although with some obvious backlash from opponents and colleagues.
Curiously, the proposed changes seem to revolve more around the ability for an officer to pursue action against cannabis users, rather than protect cannabis users from harsh penalties, and according to quotes from Carden, this motivation seems to be what is causing the delay in legislators making a simple policy change:
“Let’s say you’re running a serious investigation and you want this person (held) on some serious charges so you can get them in an interrogation room or you just want to get them off the street, if all we have is the marijuana charge then we’ll roll under that (using the state law),” he said. “We’ll use that as a way to bring them in and talk to them.
“But, for your typical person, a young person on the street with a joint and a bong, we won’t apply the state law. The state law is still the law of the land. This is just a county ordinance which will be decided in Recorder’s Court.”
It seems peculiar that a simple policy change purported to “protect the youth” is being delayed based on the precedence that “organizations or folks who would be impacted by decriminalization” should be consulted.
Hard Questions for Gwinnet County & Decriminalizing Medical Marijuana
The “folks” who would be impacted by decriminalization are the same youths that the commissioner is referencing, but who are the “organizations”?
And how does a policy change that becomes totally voluntary to even implement, become exemplified as “decriminalization”?
The answer is pretty simple, it doesn’t.
This empty proposal and its absurd delay mimic the same approach that the state of Georgia has taken on recreational marijuana as a whole.
By putting words on paper that mean nothing and do nothing, legislators are continuing to push for the opportunity to employ the familiar criminal prosecution of cannabis users, benefitting only the prison industrial complex and the legislators who profit from putting innocent cannabis users behind bars.
Medical Marijuana as an Alternative to Fake Legislation
While we hope that things will change legislatively, and that lawmakers and politicians become motivated to pass meaningful legislation, the reality is not very positive for recreational cannabis in Georgia.
However, the medical marijuana industry in all its glory offers a glimpse of hope for cannabis users who would otherwise be prosecuted with jail time or fines at the total discretion of law enforcement.
Having a medical marijuana card in Georgia ensures that you are within your legal rights while possessing approved medical marijuana products, usurping the imbalanced laws that penalize recreational cannabis possession.
A Georgia Medical Marijuana Card Protects Your Rights
Without a medical marijuana card, you are beholden to the same criminal prosecution and harsh treatment that the state of Georgia and Gwinnet County currently offers, and as it stands, that means harsh jail time and severe fines.
With a medical marijuana card, your rights as a patient are solidified and you are not subject to the same criminal prosecution that possession recreational or illegal cannabis incurs.
It’s our hope that Georgia and its cities, towns, and counties will turn a new leaf in cannabis legalization, but as it stands being a medical marijuana patient is one of the only ways to ensure your rights are protected.
Get Your Georgia Marijuana Card
As a Georgia marijuana patient, you can legally purchase up to 20 ounces of low THC cannabis oil. For Georgians, this means getting the relief you need naturally and organically, and Georgia Marijuana Card is here to help.
Reserve your appointment today and get $25 off when we start processing applications!
Feel free to give us a call at (866) 781-5606, and we can help answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Georgia