Over the course of the last year, several states have made the news for decriminalizing the possession of small quantities of marijuana for personal use. That means that individuals in those states who are searched by law enforcement officials may not be arrested if the amount of marijuana they have on them is below the statutory thresholds. The individuals may, however, still run afoul of the federal Controlled Substances Act.

This is not the case in Georgia. In Georgia, it is still illegal for individuals to grow, possess, sell, manufacture and distribute marijuana. However, individuals who are found to be in possession of small quantities of marijuana may qualify for alternative sentencing for their alleged infractions. Individuals in possession of larger quantities of the drug may be arrested on felony state drug charges.

The state has, though, adopted an exception for the limited use of cannabis oil by individuals who suffer from certain medical conditions These individuals may be allowed, under state law, to possess cannabis oil with low percentages of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for their own personal use in the mitigation of their illness-related pain and symptoms.

Drug laws are always changing, and there are chances in the future that Georgia may follow the path of some of its more progressive counterparts and decriminalize the possession of marijuana. At this time, however, it is generally illegal under both state and federal law for Georgia residents to have marijuana under their control, in any amounts. Individuals who are arrested based on marijuana-related drug offenses can always get help with their legal dilemmas, to better understand their defense options.