For people who are arrested on drug charges in Gwinnett County, the penalties will largely hinge on the amount they had in their possession. Some drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and Fentanyl are treated more seriously than marijuana, but being arrested for marijuana can still lead to problems. Across the nation, marijuana is increasingly being treated as a less serious issue. Georgia has yet to decriminalize it as other states have. That could change soon. Still, those who are arrested on marijuana charges should simultaneously understand the current penalties and how the changes could impact them.
Marijuana would be treated less harshly with new law
A proposal by a commissioner in Gwinnett County hopes to alter the current way in which those arrested for possessing marijuana are treated. If the person is found to have less than an ounce, it would result in a citation without a jail sentence. The fine would be $150. Instead of a fine, the person could also be sentenced to community service for up to one year. It is noted that this would not be outright decriminalization. Marijuana sales would continue to be against the law. The goal is to have a fairer system that does not incarcerate people who had the drug for personal use.
Other locations in the state have moved forward with this type of change. Already, marijuana has been decriminalized from being a federal offense. Another goal on the part of the commissioner proposing this change is to avoid law enforcement taking the time to arrest a person for such a small amount when there are more serious violations that he or she could be pursuing.
People must remember that marijuana is still illegal in Georgia
Despite a growing national movement to legalize marijuana and areas of Georgia joining in with that trend, it is imperative for people to remember that people can still face various penalties if they are convicted of drug charges for marijuana. It is also wise to know that these changes – if they are implemented – only apply to people who have a tiny amount.
Those accused of selling it, distributing it, trafficking in it and facing allegations of committing other crimes could be arrested, incarcerated, fined, be barred from certain schools and have other difficulties. To avoid the worst penalties, it is important to explore all avenues of defense. Perhaps the evidence is faulty or the person did not commit any violation. Consulting with experienced professionals can help with formulating a plan.