- Hammond Lewis
Tybee Island Decriminalizes Cannabis
Georgia medical cannabis patients enjoy immunity from legal ramifications when in possession of low-THC oil with less than 5% total THC in it.
For recreational users, possession of cannabis largely remains a criminal offense in Georgia, however a group of cities have joined a growing list of towns and counties that have decriminalized cannabis in some way.
Tybee Island, a popular vacation beach just 18 miles east of Savannah, has joined this list of cities who have decriminalized cannabis use, while upping the game a little bit more.
In addition to Tybee Island decriminalizing cannabis, they’ve also introduced the possibility for record expungement on prior cannabis convictions, a step the city believes will help right some of the wrongs that cannabis prohibition has inflicted on otherwise innocent people.
Tybee Island Decriminalizes Cannabis & Reviews Expungement
Tybee Island is home to Georgia’s largest beach, and home to its fair share of tourism as well.
Before the city council passed its new ordinance on August 26th 2021, holding an ounce of cannabis would likely put you in jail.
After the council’s 4-2 vote to pass, Tybee Island joins at least 8 other cities in making possession of 1 ounce or less of cannabis a civil offense with a $150 fine, not a criminal offense.
And although it’s not outright legalization, it’s certainly a step in the right direction. It remains unlawful for citizens who do not have a current Georgia medical marijuana card to possess any amount of cannabis, and only medical marijuana patients enjoy true legal immunity.
Tybee Island is taking this two steps further with their local ordinance.
One, by requiring a review on previous cases or convictions involving marijuana, so that an assessment can be made on potentially expunging these records.
And two, by explicitly stating that “No person adjudicated in connection with an offense under this ordinance shall be arrested or subject to any form of imprisonment or confinement.”.
This section of the amendment is particularly aimed at something called officer discretion, where cities like Savannah and Chatham County ordinances allow for police officers to choose between either arresting or issuing a citation, Tybee Island will not allow officers to arrest people for this civil offense.
Tybee Island Paves Way for New Future of Cannabis Legalization
Although it remains unlawful to be in possession of 1 ounce or less of cannabis in Tybee Island, the city has made an important step towards recognizing the injustice that cannabis prohibition and the failed war on drugs has caused.
Tybee Island is recognizing that citizens should not be subject to arrest and prosecution for small possession of cannabis, a process that can significantly impact the entire future of a person’s life, and especially alter the lives of young people.
And the city is further acting on the idea that previous injustices have been committed, by insisting on beginning the process of moving forward with record expungement.
Many young, and especially, young African American lives have been severely affected by overly harsh penalization of cannabis use or possession, leading to an unreasonable and unjustifiable racial divide in arrests and convictions for cannabis use or possession, despite similar usage patterns among races.
Tybee Island is doing more than the minimum for cannabis decriminalization, and by moving forward with record expungement they are providing an example for what other cities and states should strive to imitate.
Of course possession of cannabis without a Georgia medical marijuana card still remains unlawful, even in Tybee Island. Only Georgia medical marijuana patients will enjoy immunity from legal ramifications, all recreational cannabis will still remain unlawful, although decriminalized.
But Tybee Island is taking steps forward in the right direction. The complex amount of work required to review the many unreasonable convictions for possession of small amounts of cannabis might seem overwhelming to states that are less invested in their communities, but for Tybee Island, it’s an important step towards equality, and a necessary step for righting the injustice that the war on weed has caused for thousands of families.
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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.
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