Recreational and Medical Marijuana’s Effect On Georgians

Marijuana has been a part of the United States for nearly as long as there has been a United States. The last decade has seen a massive shift from the highly negative opinions that dominated legislatures at every level to acceptance, decriminalization, to statewide legalization. While it is still entirely illegal at the federal level, 6 more states will be voting on new marijuana laws in 2018, potentially adding to the 30 states, and Washington D.C., that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. While a bill was introduced to the Georgia legislature early in the year, it failed to get the traction needed. With more and more states making possession easier, it’s important to remember the laws here in Georgia, and what can happen when you try to bring marijuana from legal states to Georgia.

Traveling to and From Legal States

“Marijuana tourism” is, unsurprisingly, becoming more popular as more states legalize recreational use. There are no legal ramifications for traveling to a state like Colorado and indulging. As long as you are within the boarders of the state, you are subject to the laws of that state. However, since marijuana is still strictly illegal at the federal level, crossing state lines, or entering boarder crossing areas with other countries, means you’re not only violating federal laws about possession, but you can also be accused of drug trafficking, a far greater charge. Even crossing the boarder from one legal state to another can run you afoul of federal laws. These laws apply to those with medical cards as well.

Atlanta’s Stance On Marijuana

In 2017, Atlanta passed a “decriminalization” bill (Ordinance 17-O-1152) that gave Municipal Courts the ability to not jail individuals in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, instead imposing a fine of around $75. That doesn’t mean you can carry around marijuana with abandon, just that courts have more options in how you’re punished.

At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our attorneys are dedicated to reaching the best possible outcome for our clients. Our criminal defense attorneys, Patrick McDonough and Trinity Hundredmark, have combined experience of more than 30 years representing clients facing criminal charges in Georgia. For more information, or to request a case evaluation, contact our law office at 1-770-822-0900.