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Pot taboo in Georgia, but THC-free cannabis oil being looked at

Some people might reasonably think that, given the liberalizing trend across much of the country regarding marijuana decriminalization and, to a lesser extent, legalization, Georgia is firmly in step with the movement.

They would be flatly mistaken.

Many people who follow marijuana-related news to any extent almost assuredly know that two states -- Washington and Colorado, respectively -- have already passed voter initiatives legalizing recreational pot. Moreover, a score of states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws that allow for regulated use of medical marijuana inside their borders.

Georgia is firmly not on that bandwagon, with marijuana possession and use in any fashion being dealt with harshly by state authorities. Misdemeanor pot possession (less than an ounce) brings a scant slap on the wrist in many states; in Georgia, conversely, it can result in drug treatment, driver’s license suspension and even jail time. Possession of more than one ounce is a felony offense that can bring a serious term of incarceration.

Notwithstanding the state’s stringent view on marijuana, there currently seems to be some momentum growing in Georgia toward allowing the limited use of medical marijuana oil -- a form of cannabis that lacks THC, the drug’s chemical that produces a high -- by children suffering from severe epileptic seizures. Governor Nathan Deal announced last week that his office is examining options to promote that aim and comply with federal laws at the same time.

That is encouraging news for some families, with one mother of an epileptic child calling Deal’s announcement “a huge step in the right direction.”

In the meantime, marijuana possession and use continues to be -- as it always has been -- flatly illegal in Georgia and harshly responded to by the criminal justice system.

Persons with questions or concerns regarding a marijuana-related criminal charge can receive candid information and strong legal advocacy from an experienced Georgia marijuana possession defense attorney.

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Georgia governor pursues efforts to legalize medical marijuana, privatize foster care," Greg Bluestein, April 10, 2014

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