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Georgia’s Weed Laws: What’s Legal and What’s Not

 

In the recent past, marijuana laws have begun to enter a grey area in regards to legality. While it is still illegal Federally, many states have either relaxed or completely legalized marijuana use. Here is where Georgia stands:

  1. Medical Marijuana: Georgia’s stance on medical marijuana use is limited. Qualified patients with specific conditions like those suffering from severe seizures, certain forms of cancer, and terminal illness may possess cannabis oil with no more than 5% THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) if they have a valid registration card.
  2. Recreational Use: Recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state of Georgia.
  3. Cultivation and Distribution: cultivation, sale, and distribution of marijuana is all illegal for not only recreational purposes but also for medical purposes.
  4. CBD Products: CBD derived from hemp is actually legal at the federal level, and CBD products with very low THC content (less than 0.3%) are legal.
  5. Delta 8, etc: Delta-8 and Delta-9 are popular cannabinoids that do not contain THC, although many users report quasi-high effects similar to marijuana. As of now, these cannabinoids and their derivatives are legal under Georgia law.
  6. Penalties: Penalties for possession of marijuana vary based on the amount in possession as well as whether it is a first offense. Marijuana more than an ounce is considered a felony, whereas anything less than an ounce is a misdemeanor. Because of the variance, penalties can range from a simple citation to jail time and hefty fines.

If you’ve been arrested or cited for possession of marijuana, give our office a call TODAY.

Loss Amount

In previous discussions, I have discussed the United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.). Here, I will briefly address the guidelines as they apply to calculating loss for financial crimes under U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1.

It is critical to know that the federal sentencing guidelines calculate loss amount to include not only actual loss amount but intended loss amount. An example will help …

A Defendant obtains 20 forged checks drawn on the accounts of “Victims”. Each forged check is for $10,000. The Defendant passes all 20 checks at different banks. On ten occasions, Defendant is successful resulting in acquiring $100,000 via fraud. On ten occasions, the bank declines to cash the checks resulting in $100,000 in unsuccessful attempts.

Using this example, the actual loss is $100,000, the intended loss amount is $200,000. For sentencing guidelines purposes, $200,000 is the loss amount.

There are ways to mitigate this loss amount, particularly where it brings an unjust result.

For further reading you may consider:

United States Sentencing Guideline §2B1.1.

“What Does Federal Economic Crime Really Look Like? published by the United States Sentencing Commission in January 2019.

 

Written By: Attorney John Lovell