The bill worrying Georgia police.
In 2018 President Trump signed the “Farm Bill” into law. The Farm Bill has a provision that allows states like Georgia to create their own rules, standards, and safeguards regarding the growth, production, processing, and handling of hemp based products. On May 10, 2019 Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 213 into law. House Bill 213 creates a standard for Georgians to grow and handle hemp. House Bill 213 also removes hemp from the list of schedule I controlled substances in Georgia.
Okay, hemp’s now legal. So what?
Hemp and marijuana are very similar plants. While they do
have distinguishing characteristics, hemp contains a small amount of
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. House Bill 213 provides that the hemp plant can
have a concentration of up to .3% THC without violating the law. Most marijuana
plants have somewhere between 3-5% THC.
The issue with taking hemp off the controlled substances list in Georgia is that even the most well-trained law enforcement officers can’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana. Their test for determining whether a substance is marijuana is a simple reagent test where if there is any THC present in the substance, the test will return a positive. This causes issues in the enforcement of marijuana arrests because, as stated above, hemp contains some THC. So even if an officer stopped you and you had hemp in the vehicle, it would return a positive for marijuana.
If stopped with weed… be smart. Use your rights.
Georgia is currently looking for a solution that will test the percentage of THC in a substance, but until that test exists, we want to remind all readers that it is the law enforcement officers responsibility to find probable cause to arrest you. Don’t just give them your weed. Make them find it. Make them establish that is it actually marijuana and not another substance. Make them prove that the odor of marijuana and not the odor of hemp is what cause them to search your vehicle. It is not your responsibility to do an officers job for them. Make them prove it. While this new change in law may not guarantee your marijuana case is getting dismissed, it could have an impact in its resolution.
Our office is on the forefront of all the changes in drug laws in Georgia. We are here to help you. If you have any questions regarding your rights when it comes to drug offenses in Georgia, call us today for a free consultation at 404-581-0999. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.