Cannabis-related penalties are strict

Many teens and young adults may have been exposed to marijuana, and many others probably have a friend or at least know somebody who uses the drug. Especially with social attitudes toward marijuana changing, many young people may use the drug themselves on occasions.

While many states have legalized marijuana, also known as cannabis, at least when it is subject to tight regulatory controls, Georgia is not one of those states. The possession transfer and sale of the drug can all subject a person, even someone who otherwise has no criminal history, to jail time and fines. Georgia even has relatively tight rules when it comes to medicinal marijuana.

The possession of a small amount of marijuana, up to one ounce, is a misdemeanor offense. While this is less serious than a felony, it can still result in a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment of up to one year. Moreover, the person will still have a conviction for a drug charge on his or her record.

Those caught in possession of more than one ounce and up to 10 pounds of marijuana face the possibility of a felony conviction and an imprisonment of from anywhere between one and 10 years.

The way Georgia's laws are written, this penalty applies whether or not there is evidence that the accused person was trying to sell the drug. Likewise, someone caught with over 10 pounds of the drug will face at least five years in prison and $100,000 in fines. The penalties again get enhanced for someone found with more than one ton of the drug.

A family in Cumming should take any marijuana charge, including a charge leveled against a youngster, very seriously, as a conviction can do serious damage to a young adult or teen's professional and personal opportunities. It may be important in this respect to seek the advice of experienced legal counsel.

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