62% of Georgia Voters Support Marijuana Decriminalization


Atlanta, GA – A newly released poll found that over half of Georgia voters support a marijuana legalization policy similar to that of Colorado and Washington (54%), however that same report found that even larger majority supports decriminalization.  62% of respondents believe that the state should remove criminal penalties for possession of less than one ounce of pot, and replace it with a $100 civil fine, without the possibility of jail time.  Only 32% were opposed.  Interestingly, 56% of seniors, and republicans respectively, were among that nearly two-thirds majority.

 The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) was commissioned by state affiliates of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Georgia NORML, and Peachtree NORML.  Said Peachtree NORML’s Executive Director Sharon Ravert, “The citizens of Georgia agree, marijuana prohibition is a wasteful and destructive policy.  It is time for our state to catch up with public opinion and find a more sensible solution to the status quo.”  Peachtree NORML and other advocacy groups are working with lawmakers and various state coalition groups to amend Georgia’s criminal marijuana laws. In 2010, some 32,500 Georgians were arrested for violating marijuana laws, according to the FBI. That is the sixth highest total of any state in America.

Also of note, only 9% of respondents were millennials.  This demographic is known to be overwhelmingly supportive of this issue, but their limited representation highlights the fact that there is significant support among other age groups.  71% of those questioned were between the ages of 30 and 65 which suggests that older generations, who are more likely to vote, are also strongly in favor of decriminalization.   It’s clear that the widespread support for marijuana law reform in the traditionally conservative state of Georgia has grown to such an extent that it now reaches across all party lines, age groups and races.

“Though it may be surprising to some, these numbers are consistent with a growing trend of support for reform in the southern region of the country,” said Sabrina Fendrick NORML’s Outreach Coordinator for the southeastern region.   Recent polls conducted in Louisiana and Oklahoma both show a majority of support (56% and 53% respectively) for a change in the law providing for a $100 fine without jail time for those who possess an ounce or less of marijuana.  Said Fendrick, “Everywhere you look you will see more and more people dissatisfied with the strict penalties associated with current marijuana laws, and an ever increasing number of southerners are ready for a  sensible alternative to existing failed policies, including decriminalization.”


31 thoughts

  1. Good on ya, Georgians! The times are changing, and I have high hopes for the future! This time last year nobody would have truly expected to see cannabis completely legalized in Colorado (not to mention, being sold in public retail locations open to all persons over 21!) and Washington State. These truly are exciting times, and I’m willing to bet that at least two more states will pass legalization bills before the year is over! Keep supporting the cause in any way you can, whether it be educating your neighbors or family, pledging monetary donations to NORML and other groups that advocate for our cause, or participating in your local NORML chapter (or starting your own if there isn’t one already!)

  2. Being from the South, I know I’m sick of the way the law is enforced in Tennessee. It’s nothing more than state sanctioned gangs enriching themselves on seizures of others personal property.

  3. Being from the South, I know I am sick of the way the laws are being enforced in Tennessee.
    It is nothing more than state sanctioned gangs enriching themselves on the personal property of others. Then putting the tab for incarceration on the rest of us.

  4. Another interstate bust in Idaho. Guy named Xiong from Sacramento was arrested after a traffic stop in the area of Blackfoot Idaho with 150 lbs on board. It seems that Idaho law enforcement are running a statewide search competition in which police Cpl. Chad Braswell, and his dog Moxie placed second last year reports the Idaho State Journal. Be careful in Idaho, state troupers are hot to trot Lots of real big sagebrush alongside the interstate for the buggers to hide behind.

  5. This is pretty great news, even if it if not that surprising. It’s in line with national numbers. I wonder why they didn’t poll medical marijuana, which Georgia still desperately needs.
    But if they jump right to full legalization, that will work fine.

  6. The Idaho State Journal ran the drug bust story in todays paper along with a feature about a public opinion poll, should marijuana be legalized in Idaho at Idahostatejournal
    .com but I could not find it on their web site. The phone number for the Idaho State Journal is (208)232-4161. Nation wide do me, and Idaho a favor friends give them a call and a piece of your mind please.

  7. Fox News is working in overdrive to keep the sheep frightened. It will be entertaining to watch the talking heads on that network stutter and fall all over themselves trying to explain the inevitable spread of legalization. I wonder which of them will be the first to utter the words, “The end of civilization as we know it!” Probably Doocy.

  8. Glad the state I live in is changing. We even have a Republican that introduced a bill SR 756 for a committee to recommend medicinal marina a here in Ga a few days ago and it has already been referred to committee. Ga is coming a long way and bout time to. I even think our Gov backs the bill. Hope Normal can keep us updated and does a big push for us since we are the heart of the south…

  9. The people have this one right. Marijuana reform is about saying we want an alternative to alcohol and pills. We have all seen the destruction prescription pills and drinking cause. Sure it’s a vice, but it is only illegal because the moral police created prohibition and said so.

    Speak up Georgia, write those letters,make those phone calls.

  10. This is great news for Georgia. Sharon at NORML, James Bell at CARE and the ASA group in metro Atlanta have done an outstanding job bringing this important issue to the front burner. Here’s to legalizing marijuana in the south!

  11. Evening Bud, do you even watch FoxNews? They have some people that are against legalization, plenty that are strongly for it. Same as the people working for CNN.

    But you’re probably the type that makes prejudicial assumptions about other people, without ever actually finding out what they are about.

    Yep, prejudiced, that what you are.

  12. I suffer from ptsd and chronic pain. I am sick of taking pain pills for the pain. Please Georgia let me smoke marijuana. I am 54 years old and I don’t drink or use ilegal drugs. Let people have a choice on how they manage their pain and other conditions and not go to jail for it.

  13. @Evening Bud

    I’ve watched FOX news in the past. It lacks the professionalism of the ‘lame stream media’ they so enjoy maligning. To be brutally frank it comes off as less intelligent than the mainstream.

    It’s long since time for real conservatives to take back their cause from the likes of FOX news. There’s no reason to portray conservatives as slow and obnoxious.

    I never even gave MSNBC a chance, because I’ve heard it is a liberal version of FOX. Just what the country needs, two armies of dummies telling each other what they want to hear.

  14. @Ben,

    Busted, lol, I only swing over to that station now and then to see what the “other side” is saying. But I obviously caught it on a “good” day–on Tuesday, when they made the claim that you could buy MJ at the Colorado recreational shops with food stamps. They had a whole segment on that, interviewed some CO GOPer official about that. I don’t recall any of the other networks running that story. Do you? BTW, tell me which of the Fox newscasters supports legalization–in my few ventures over there, I’ve never seen that.

  15. @ Ben. Do you watch Fox News? They are constantly editorializing as they report, like a bunch of fucking buffoons…

    The brainwashing is so ingrained in these fucking idiots. They go back to comparing marijuana users with child molesters. Ben, why both with defending the indefensible??? They are professional assholes. Being an asshole should not be a paying job.

  16. Public acknowledgement from GA of their public’s respect for cannabis and its medicinal value may help our soldiers come down from the chemicals dumped upon them without their choice or knowledge by their leadership demanding anyway you can get the mission accomplished.

  17. Here is to hoping that my home state of Georgia will legalize marijuana and get a modern medical bill passed. I suffer from neuropathic pain and marijuana really is the ONLY thing that helps. The doc’s can keep their percocet and oxycontin; that stuff is just poison and merely dulls the pain while giving people terrible physical addictions which often is worse than the disease itself.

  18. I have used mmj for 10 years and was very sick when I start near death. Iam still sick but 70% better. Dont use any doctor medicine. Thank god for good natural medicine. The grass was good for all thing that ill you, it was good for the birds, it was even goo for the beast in the field and all mankind.register marijuana pacience through washing state now reside in georgia

  19. I’m pleased to hear about the decriminalization but when will they vote on @ least Medical Marijuana.It’s time to think about our environment with the MANY ways it can be used and it also has medicinal abilities! WAKE UP GEORGIA AND EVERY OTHER STATE. How fast do think we could bring down the deficit? It is a win win hands down.

  20. YES, full legalization all creational use, medical marijuana and hemp plants for Georgia but no medical only because Insurance, Taxes and Budget. If only medical then no can stand to support the laws because of Federal Control Substance Action. If all three medical, creational and hemp then yes can order to remove marijuana out of Federal Control Substance Action Schedule 1. Please, must not fine $100 for less one ounce. For right with Law to fine $100 for more than two ounce. Law must allow up to 12 growing plants from seed to 3 feet tall before become flower bud 6 plants limit each one quarter as three months that means three times each year. NORML need to establish Marijuana Union Member for protect Job, Insurance, Bank and Business even our Rights. Marijuana for 21 years old adults and above require Drive License. If no Drive License then no allow to buy marijuana nor possess the marijuana. There we do nothing do to punish anyone where school zone is because of marijuana medical as same as creational use. GOD created marijuana so we vote to legalize marijuana for Habitation, Education, Love, Peace and Harmony. GOD will name it and Bless it, AMEN !

  21. These polls show what most of us already know. It should never have been made illegal. I grew a cross between lisquity and shishkaberry in the closet for years until the paranoia got the better of me. It’s a good thing it did because a few months later I had the police searching my house.
    I dodged a bullet but many have been less fortunate. Oddly enough the only record I have is for simple possession of marijuana which wasn’t even mine. It belonged to the girl I was dating which has now been my wife for about 18 years. If Georgia legalizes it I will be relocating across the state line.

  22. Fuck you Robert Meeks. I’m 18 with no drivers license I’m a hard worker and I walk everywhere I need to go. You’re saying just because someone doesn’t have a drivers license they can’t get weed. Fuck you think about other people situations besides just your own you selfish fuck.

  23. @ dropit, its called a state issued I.D. can also be found at a DMV. No reason to call anyone out and have a foul mouth, now I know why the 21 and older crowd exists….

  24. The bill in Ga i only for CBD oil for Dravet’s Syndrome, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS and I think that’s about it. What about thoe of us with other debilitating conditions like PTSD, neuropathy, degenerative diseases, established chronic pain, etc, etc.
    It’s odd that Rep Peake originally said the cannabis would have to be administered intraveinously (he’s gotta be in the dark!!). He also has said that he would fight anything more leniant than his proposal “tooth & nail”.
    That’s a true shame because there are so many benefits from this plant!!!

  25. If the people want it legal , why is it illegal? This our country , I want it legal , if over half the nation wants it legal , then it should be legal , enough with the political bullshit , this slack dictatorship bullshit , this is our country !!! We are a democracy , not commies !! It is a plant , a common weed , telling me I can’t smoke it is no different then telling gay people they don’t have the right to get married ! This is my life and its none of the governments fucking buissness !! I pay for them to live with my tax money , that I work for and they waste it !! We are supposed to be one nation , yet we are devided into states and turning one state legal one step at a time over money should show the people how truly devided we are ! Marijuana not being legal so the state government can rob its people of there hard earned money is a crime , its called theft by taking / extortion !! O e of which carries a prison sentense 🙂

  26. I emailed President Obama this proposal this 3/2/14 in hopes of helping US citizens. Social Security can be increased by federal taxation ,regulation, and quantification of Cannabis by passing the 28th Amendment.

    March 1, 2014

    I hereby declare on said day the intent to set precedent for the legalization and reversal of prohibition of Cannabis. This action shall be bestowed upon the highest court of the land, the US Supreme Court. The aforementioned intent is for the common good of all U.S. Citizens. Furthermore, a foundation shall be established in pursuit of said goal. The 28 Amendment Coalition Foundation shall use every resource available and expendable to achieve said goal. Expeditious reform shall be the easiest and affordable means of agreement per the American taxpayer. Furthermore, I declare the fittest entity is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to primarily police Cannabis in American Commerce. Therefore, the BATFEC rightfully should assume said responsibility. I feel it my duty as an American to suggest.


    Stephen Edward Lovett
    28 ACF Founder

    Sent from my iPhone

  27. They do need to bc like ya said shouldn’t have to take pains all the time id sho rather be smokin so come Georgia pass it don’t need to be locked up for marijuana it truly helps with the pain a lot an less harmful for you so come on Georgia

  28. Like many others, I am frustrated by the fact that Marijuana is still illegal in most states today, and I really wish that Georgia had a more suitable official than Rep Peake to represent our cause. Make no mistake, this man is NOT on our side, as the medical bill he is proposing barely qualifies as a medical marijuana bill at all (low THC oil only, no traditional plant products, and only for specified diseases that don’t cover a very wide spectrum), and he has also said that he will fight anything more lenient than this “tooth and nail,” as someone else quoted.

    The data is irrefutable – most taxpayers across the country think that at the very least, it should be decriminalized, and many favor full legalization for adults 21 and over. Why is our government not listening to its citizens? Our freedoms shouldn’t dictated by people who grew up in far more repressed times and whose values are rooted in religious beliefs that have blinded them from the truth.

  29. It is time for Georgia to lead the south (and any state who hasn’t done so, really) into modern/future cannabis ages. I served proudly as an infantryman and was left with a host of medical issues to which the VAMC in Atlanta likes to use us all as prescription pill guinea pigs. After six years I had had enough, weened myself from that hazy stupor they had me on and tried cannabis solely. It works great, and no longer do I need to be on bipolar/schizophrenia, manic/depressive, et cetera, medications to which I was prescribed even though I did not have ANY of those disorders/diseases. Why can my fellow servicemembers and myself not choose for ourselves on what medications we take? Why should I have to take schizophrenia medication to sleep when a VERY SMALL amount of marijuana not only works a hell of a lot better, but is about as healthy as any chemically/man-made medication could ever become? We as American adults, unless you live under a rock bigger than that of bin-Laden hid under for so long, know the truth of how harmful it ACTUALLY is..not very at all by the way.. What’s the LD50 for cannabis, again? Let us change the draconian ways of those before us, do not what is right, but merely common f’in sense people. We all here in Georgia know it’s time to reflect, and then take the actions necessary to grant us our liberties. Keep it simple, stupid. Read the facts, not listen to fallacy/fear/myths that has been force fed to this country for too long. It is long overdue. Really. So, thanks for reading my thoughts everyone. And for those in Georgia who want to help our state progress and amend current legislation regarding marijuana, Mr. Bell with the Georgia C.A.R.E. Project is a wonderful individual. He seems to have great head on his shoulders and is doing the right thing in the correct way and I strongly urge all veterans in the same situation to contact the man. Call, write, AND visit our local and federal representatives and let them know how you feel. Thank you. Curr Ahee!

  30. I def can’t wait. I have adhd and the medication the give me just sucks because more than half the time it won’t let me eat my lunch at work. I work doing my own business in lawncare and my muscles hurt like crazy sometimes. I think it’s a great idea and can’t wait to light a joint and start back eating lunch at work, most important meal is lunch. Thanks Go Ga let’s get it moving

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