Jamie Hernan, of Hernan Law Firm, raises in his blog article “Gwinnett County Solicitor General (prosecutor) announces dismissal of pending misdemeanor marijuana possession cases – citing new Georgia law”, the possibility for concern by those opposed to legalization of marijuana, and of law enforcement agencies who will be unable to enforce the law with respect to possession.
Citing Georgia’s recently passed Hemp Farming Law, the Solicitor General of Gwinnett County, whose office is responsible for the prosecution of misdemeanor offenses in the county, has announced the dismissal of pending marijuana possession cases and indicated that, at least for the time being, prosecution of such cases may not be legal.
Because Georgia’s Hemp Farming Law does not contain essential elements addressing possession of low-THC hemp, the law creates potentially insurmountable hurdles in prosecuting marijuana possession cases. Although possession of marijuana remains illegal in the State of Georgia, prosecutors would likely not have sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the material in question in a particular case was marijuana as opposed to low-THC hemp. Hemp is almost identical to marijuana but with much lower levels of the psychoactive chemical THC.
The legislation Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law allows the state to license a a small number of Georgia farmers to grow and process hemp, a versatile crop that’s used to produce a large variety of products that are becoming increasingly popular in the marketplace.
“It’s just that prosecutors will have to prove an additional element (of evidence) if an argument is made that industrial hemp somehow prevents enforcement of the criminal marijuana law,” said state Rep. Chuck Efstration, R-Dacula. The Hemp Farming Bill makes prosecuting marijuana cases “difficult but not impossible” according to Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia.
According to Solicitor’s Office no marijuana possession charges will be prosecuted with an arrest date of May 10, 2019, or thereafter… at least for the time-being. Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Whiteside, whose office is responsible for prosecuting misdemeanors, has been dropping possession cases brought forward since the law was signed in May… and the Gwinnett County Police Department is currently limiting enforcement to writing tickets for misdemeanor marijuana violations rather than making arrests.
Although our “Gwinnett County Solicitor General (prosecutor) announces dismissal of pending misdemeanor marijuana possession cases – citing new Georgia law” might unsettle some opposed to legalization of marijuana, our duty is to our readers. We believe it’s important that the citizens of Gwinnett County know their rights if they are facing charges for possession of marijuana.
For more information how The Hernan Law Firm can assist you with a marijuana possession case in the State of Georgia, or any other misdemeanor offense in Georgia, please call (678) 275-4000 or visit https://hernanfirm.com/ to set up a free consultation.
Hernan Law Firm is a provider of in depth articles in the Personal Injury Law with an aim to inform the general public about changes to the law and how it may impact them.