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Georgia Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

Personal Use

1 oz or less misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
More than 1 oz felony 1 - 10 years $ 0

With intent to distribute

10 lbs or less felony 1 - 10 years $ 0
10 - 2000 lbs felony 5 - 30 years $ 100,000
2000 - 10,000 lbs felony 7 - 30 years $ 250,000
More than 10,000 lbs felony 15 - 30 years $ 1,000,000
Within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone felony 20 -40 years $ 40,000

Sale or Delivery

10 lbs or less felony 1 - 10 years $ 0
10 - 2000 lbs felony 5 - 30 years $ 100,000
2000 - 10,000 lbs felony 7 - 30 years $ 250,000
More than 10,000 lbs felony 15 - 30 years $ 1,000,000
Within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone felony 20 -40 years $ 40,000

Cultivation

10 lbs or less felony 1 - 10 years $ 0
10 - 2000 lbs felony 5 - 30 years $ 100,000
2000 - 10,000 lbs felony 7 - 30 years $ 250,000
More than 10,000 lbs felony 15 - 30 years $ 1,000,000
Within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone felony 20 -40 years $ 40,000

Hash & Concentrates

Possession felony 1 - 15 years $ 0
Manufacturing, distributing, selling, or possessing with the intent to distribute felony 5 - 30 years $ 0
Subsequent offenses carry stricter penalties.

Paraphernalia

Possession or sale of paraphernalia misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
Second and third offenses carry additional penalties and fines.

Forfeiture

Vehicles and other property may be seized.

Miscellaneous

Abandoning marijuana in a public place misdemeanor 1 year $ 1,000
Involving a minor felony 5 - 20 years $ 20,000
Distribution of marijuana flavored product misdemeanor N/A $ 500
Use of any communications facility felony 1 - 4 years $ 30,000
Any conviction of a marijuana possession, sale, or cultivation offense results in suspension of driving license.

Penalty Details

Marijuana is not a scheduled substance, but is regulated under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-25 to 29, 30.

Possession for Personal Use

Possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000. Possession of over an ounce is a felony punishable by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-2(b)
  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-30(j)

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession with intent to distribute 10 pounds or less of marijuana is a felony punishable by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 10 years imprisonment. Possession of over 10 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000. Possession of 2,000 pounds or more but less than 10,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 7 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Possession of 10,000 pounds or more is punishable by a minimum of 15 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-30(j)
  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-31(c), (h)

Possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $20,000 for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 40 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $40,000. It is an affirmative defense that the conduct took place entirely within a private residence, no one 17 years old or younger was present, and the conduct was not committed for financial gain.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-32.4 to 32.6

Sale/Delivery

Sale or delivery of 10 pounds or less of marijuana is a felony punishable by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 10 years imprisonment. Sale or delivery of over 10 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000. Sale or delivery of 2,000 pounds or more but less than 10,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 7 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Sale or delivery of 10,000 pounds or more is punishable by a minimum of 15 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-30(j)
  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-31(c), (h)

Sale or delivery within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $20,000 for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 40 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $40,000. It is an affirmative defense that the conduct took place entirely within a private residence, no one 17 years old or younger was present, and the conduct was not committed for financial gain.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-32.4 to 32.6

Cultivation

Cultivation of 10 pounds or less of marijuana is a felony punishable by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 10 years imprisonment. Cultivation of over 10 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000. Cultivation of 2,000 pounds or more but less than 10,000 pounds is punishable by a minimum of 7 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Cultivation of 10,000 pounds or more is punishable by a minimum of 15 years and maximum of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-30(j)
  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-31(c), (h)

Cultivation within 1,000 feet of school grounds, a park, or a housing project, or in a drug free zone is a felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $20,000 for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 40 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $40,000. It is an affirmative defense that the conduct took place entirely within a private residence, no one 17 years old or younger was present, and the conduct was not committed for financial gain.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-32.4 to 32.6

Hash & Concentrates

In Georgia, hashish and concentrates that contain more than 15% THC by volume are a Schedule I substance and are punished more harshly than natural-form marijuana.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-25(3)(P)
  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-21 (16)

Possessing any amount of hashish or concentrate is a felony, punishable by imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 15 years. For subsequent violations, the violator must be imprisoned for not less than five years nor more than 30 years.

Manufacturing, distributing, selling, or possessing hashish or concentrates with the intent to distribute is a felony, which punishable by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than 30 years. Upon conviction of a second or subsequent offense, he or she shall be imprisoned for not less than ten years nor more than 40 years or life imprisonment.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-30

Possession of paraphernalia with the intent to use said paraphernalia to ingest or produce hashish or concentrates is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year and prison and a maximum fine of $1,000.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-32.2.

Manufacturing, distributing , or possessing with intent to deliver hashish or concentrates within 1,000 ft. of a school, housing project, public park, or commercial drug-free zone is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $20,000.00, or both. Subsequent offenses bring enhanced penalties.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-32.4
  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-32.5
  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-32.6

Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000. Sale or possession with intent to distribute is a misdemeanor for the first offense punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000, a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature for a second offense punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $5,000, and a felony for a third offense punishable by a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years imprisonment and a fine up to $5,000.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-32 to 32.2
  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 17-10-3 to 4

Sentencing

A person who has not previously been convicted of a drug charge in any US territory may, after being convicted of or pleading guilty to a marijuana possession charge, have the proceedings against them deferred and be put on probation for up to 5 years. The probation may include mandatory drug treatment for up to 3 years. Successful completion of the terms of probation will result in result in a dismissal of the proceedings against the person.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-13-2(a), (c)

When a person is found guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for a maximum term of 10 years or less, the judge may, in his discretion, sentence that person as if it were a misdemeanor.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 17-10-5

Repeat felony offenses are to be sentenced by the maximum term allowed for by the felony committed.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 17-10-7

Forfeiture

Vehicles and other property may be seized for controlled substance violations. The seizing agency has 60 days after the seizure to initiate a forfeiture proceeding. The seizing agency must notify all those with an interest in the property. If the property value is less than $25,000, then a person with an interest in the property has 30 days to make a claim to it, to which the district attorney has 30 days to respond.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-49

Miscellaneous

Abandoning dangerous drugs

Anyone who abandons a controlled substance, including marijuana, in a public place is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine up to $1,000.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-3
  • Ga. Code Ann. § 17-10-3
Involvement of a minor in a marijuana offense

Involving a minor in the sale or cultivation of marijuana is a felony punishable by a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to $20,000.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-30(k)
Distribution of marijuana flavored product

The sale or delivery of a marijuana flavored product to a minor is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine for each offense.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-30.6
Use of communications facility in a controlled substances felony

Use of any communications facility, including a computer, a telephone, or mail, in the commission or facilitation of a drug offense that is considered a felony is punishable by a minimum of 1 and maximum of 4 years and/or a fine up to $30,000.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 16-13-32.3
Suspension of driver's license

Any conviction of a marijuana possession, sale, or cultivation offense results in suspension of that individual's driving license. For a first offense in 5 years, the period of suspension is at least 180 days and the restoration fee is up to $210. A second offense in 5 years results in a suspension for at least 3 years, but after 1 year the individual may apply for reinstatement for a fee up to $310. A third or subsequent offense in 5 years results in a suspension for at least 5 years, but after 2 years the individual may apply for reinstatement if certain conditions are met and they pay a fee up to $410.

See:

  • Ga. Code Ann. § 40-5-75(a)
Conditional Release

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.

Drugged Driving

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance is available here. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available here.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Tax Stamps

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. For more information, see NORML's report Marijuana Tax Stamp Laws And Penalties.






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