Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 6, 2020

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Possession of marijuana is illegal in Georgia. There are currently no bills being considered by the Georgia legislature that would legalize the use of marijuana under any circumstances.

What are the Penalties for the Possession of Marijuana in Georgia?

If you are arrested in Georgia for possession of marijuana, the penalties you face will depend on the amount of marijuana you possessed as well as your intended use for it. Individuals with small amounts for personal use face much lesser penalties than those who have large amounts or who intend to sell marijuana. Georgia marijuana penalties can include incarceration, fines, and marijuana addiction treatment. It’s also worth noting that, in Georgia, individuals found to possess synthetic forms of marijuana (tetrahydrocannabinols) or concentrated marijuana (hashish) typically face stiffer penalties than those who possess actual marijuana. The synthetic substance popularly known as K2, as well as other cannabinoids which attempt to imitate the effects of marijuana, were made illegal in Georgia in May 2010 with more severe penalties for possession than organic marijuana.

Being charged with selling or trafficking marijuana does not require that you be caught in the act of moving or selling it. In Georgia, possession of any amount of marijuana over 10 pounds automatically merits a drug trafficking charge. Baggies, measuring equipment, and other paraphernalia can all be used as evidence of your intent to sell.

The difference between a charge of selling marijuana and a simpler possession charge can be huge. If it is your first offense, those charged with possession of marijuana may be eligible to attend drug court and have their conviction set aside, while those convicted of selling it cannot. Below is a table that indicates the penalties for acts related to the possession and distribution of marijuana under Georgia law. Keep in mind that there can be additional penalties under federal law. If you have been charged with possession or intent to distribute in Georgia, consulting an experienced Georgia criminal lawyer might be very helpful in sorting out the circumstances of your case and the often complicated nature of Georgia marijuana laws.

Georgia Marijuana Penalties Table

Activity 1

Amount

Incarceration

Fine (max)

Charge

Possession Thru 10 lbs 2

1 oz or less

1 year max

$1,000

Misdemeanor

Over 1 oz thru 10 lbs

10 year max

 

 

F
E
L
O
N
Y

Distribution, Cultivation, or Possession Over 10 lbs

10 lbs or less

1-10 years

 

Over 10 lbs to 2,000 lbs

5 year min.

$100,000

2,000 to 10,000 lbs

7 year min.

$250,000

10,000 lbs or more

15 year min.

$1,000,000

Within 1,000 ft of a school or specified area

1st offense

20 year max

$20,000

2nd offense

5-40 years

$40,000

Hire, solicit, or use a minor

5 years min.

$20,000

  1. Convictions of any of the marijuana offenses may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
  2. Defendants may be eligible to attend Georgia drug court on their first offense for possession of marijuana, if the amount is 10 lbs. or less. Completion of a drug court program results in the conviction being set aside.

Follow this link for more information about Georgia Marijuana Laws and Georgia Medical Marijuana Laws