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Decriminalization vs. Legalization in Georgia


Decriminalization vs legalization

Georgia lawmakers approved a very limited form of medical marijuana in 2015, and qualifying patients should finally be able to purchase low THC medical cannabis oil from local dispensaries later this year. Meanwhile, several Georgia cities have decriminalized adult cannabis use, and many Georgia residents have questioned whether that means recreational cannabis is legal.

The team at Georgia Medical Marijuana Card will guide you through every step of registering to receive medical marijuana in Georgia. We’re also a top source of cannabis news, lifestyle coverage, and practical advice.

Read on to learn more about the difference between decriminalization and legalization, plus the latest on West Georgia’s medical marijuana program.


What does it mean to decriminalize adult cannabis use? Decriminalization gives law enforcement officials the option to treat adult cannabis possession more like a minor traffic violation than a serious crime. Violators can pay a fee that averages $100 USD with no jail time required. Georgia cities and counties that have decriminalized cannabis so far include:

  • Clarkston

  • Atlanta

  • Savannah

  • South Fulton

  • Fulton County

  • Forest Park

  • Statesboro

  • Kingsland

  • Fairburn

  • Macon-Bibb County

  • Augusta-Richmond County

  • Chamblee

Decriminalization is often seen as a stepping stone to complete legalization.

What does it mean to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana?


Legalizing recreational marijuana removes all penalties for adults who possess and consume cannabis for any reason. In some states, legalization also allows adults to grow a limited number of cannabis plants at home.

Georgia has not legalized recreational adult cannabis use, nor does it seem poised to in the near future. However, efforts to decriminalize cannabis are spreading throughout the state, and legislation to implement a more comprehensive and dynamic medical marijuana program is pending.

How do legalization and decriminalization affect medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana programs allow qualified patients to legally possess specific forms and quantities of cannabis, regardless of a state’s recreational adult use policies.

As a result, medical marijuana is the most reliable way to legally obtain high quality, well regulated cannabis.

Current Georgia laws allow qualifying patients and caregivers to possess up to 20 ounces of medical cannabis oil that contains no more than 5 percent delta 9 THC.


This year, Georgia’s medical marijuana program is actively registering patients and licensing production facilities, which are authorized to operate up to 5 dispensaries each. By the end of 2021, it’s likely that Georgia’s medical marijuana cardholders will be able to visit a dispensary and purchase low THC cannabis oil with ease.

Ready to Register for Your Georgia Medical Marijuana Card? Compassionate and professional, the team at Georgia Marijuana Card will guide you through each step of joining Georgia’s marijuana patient registry. These include gathering medical records, attending the initial appointment, submitting paperwork, scheduling renewals, and receiving follow up care.

Give us a call at 833-781-5605, or visit our website, to schedule an appointment and qualify for your Georgia medical marijuana card today.

Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

At Georgia Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.


Georgia Marijuana Card

Call us at (866) 781-5606, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!


Check out Georgia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Georgia.

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