New Georgia Bill Makes Enforcing Marijuana Laws Difficult

Hemp farm
Hemp farm

Recently, the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill that helps police enforce marijuana laws without harming the state’s hemp farming industry.

However, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, prosecutors and police believe it will have no impact on the way suspected marijuana cases are handled.

In many areas, possession of small amounts of marijuana will remain decriminalized or a low priority.  Misdemeanors will most likely not result in prosecutions, instead they will result in diversion classes or dismissals.

It is extremely difficult for police to tell the difference between illegal marijuana and legal hemp plants, so it’s not worth it to test small amounts.

AJC spoke with Pete Skandalakis, executive director for the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia, about this issue.

Marijuana remains illegal in Georgia. That hasn’t changed. The problem law enforcement will face now is when there’s less than an ounce, there’s no field test that will let you distinguish between hemp and marijuana

Pete Skandalakis

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab will only test for THC content of over one ounce, which is a felony amount.  Field tests are unable to distinguish between hemp and marijuana as they can only tell if THC is present.

State Rep. John Corbett said prosecutors and law enforcement agencies wanted stronger restrictions on marijuana, this bill was essential to help start hemp farming in Georgia.

Read the full story on the Atlanta Journal Constitution.