States throughout the U.S. are shifting in the direction of legalizing hashish leaving many Georgians questioning the place state legal guidelines at the moment stand relating to the controversial plant. Whereas 38 states have both legalized or decriminalized hashish, Georgia nonetheless holds a few of the harshest hashish legal guidelines within the nation.
As of 2022, it’s unlawful to develop, possess or distribute hashish in Georgia. Possessing an oz. or much less of the plant is taken into account a misdemeanor cost and could be topic as much as one 12 months in jail and a most of a $1,000 advantageous. Georgia regulation states that every other quantity of possession or motion regarding hashish, such distribution or cultivation, is taken into account a felony
“With the Republican legislature proper now, it could be fairly onerous to get something greater than medical marijuana handed in Georgia,” mentioned Dr. Thomas Hunter, a professor instructing regulation on the College of West Georgia.
Nonetheless, current legislative actions in Georgia look promising for future legalization. Main cities similar to Atlanta and Savannah have decriminalized hashish, which means that one can’t go to jail for possession of beneath an oz. of the drug.
In 2019, Georgia handed the Georgia Hope act which permits sufferers with extreme well being situations to own low-THC medical hashish oils inside Georgia. Laws remains to be pending on the distribution of this substance, in accordance with the Marijuana Coverage Challenge. The state additionally permits the sale and possession of CBD merchandise, which comprise many well being advantages of hashish with out the intoxication that THC brings.
The problem of hashish use within the U.S. is made extra sophisticated by federal legal guidelines which nonetheless prohibit hashish use. Even in states the place hashish is authorized, the stiff federal regulation impacts how hashish is distributed.
“If one thing is fully authorized in a state, but the federal authorities makes it unlawful, the feds might nonetheless prosecute you for that,” mentioned Dr. Hunter. “Due to stress placed on by their constituents, numerous payments had been launched in congress particularly within the 80’s with Nancy Reagan’s “Simply Say No Marketing campaign” to move federal drug legal guidelines though they’re duplicative of state legal guidelines.
“Federal banking legal guidelines have made it troublesome for house owners of dispensaries to do enterprise as a result of they’re federally insured,” continued Dr. Hunter. “So, numerous dispensaries have problem getting accounts in banks and there’s numerous issues in regards to the cash that that they had—what they may do with it, whether or not they might have a checking account, whether or not they might deposit it…and issues with crime, as a result of you will have this huge hoard of precise money.”
When states do resolve to legalize hashish, lawmakers are confronted with many questions.
“You may have this massive debate in states about what to permit,” mentioned Dr. Hunter. “[For] states that haven’t made it utterly authorized, do you do it for medical functions? What does that imply? And do you go additional than that and permit it…how do you enable it? Is it the state itself promoting it? So, do you tax it? Is it going to be akin to alcohol or one thing else?”
Georgia state laws is about to reconvene someday in 2022 relating to three payments that may take steps towards the legalization of hashish, in accordance with the Marijuana Coverage Challenge.