What You Need to Know About Georgia’s Drug Possession Laws
Drug possession laws differ across states. Here’s everything you need to know about Georgia’s laws, penalties, and defenses for drug possession.
In Georgia, individuals charged with drug possession can face imprisonment for 2-15 years. The amount of years in prison depends on the type of drug in possession.
Georgia’s Laws on Marijuana Possession
Georgia has strict laws on marijuana, allowing very limited use of the drug. Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor and can result in maximum punishments of a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Possession between an ounce and ten pounds is a felony and can result in a punishment of one to ten years in prison.
Georgia’s Laws on Trafficking and Intent to Sell Marijuana
In Georgia, the possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana is trafficking. Being in possession of 10-2,000 pounds of marijuana is a felony and can result in punishments of up to five years in prison and a mandatory $100,000 fine. Punishments for possession of 2,000-10,000 pounds is up to 7 years in prison and a mandatory $250,000 fine. Punishments for possession of over 10,000 pounds is up to 15 years in prison and a mandatory $1,000,000 fine.
Related: How to Beat a Felony Drug Charge
Georgia’s Schedules of Controlled Substances
Georgia has five established schedules of controlled substances:
- Schedule 1 drugs or substances have a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use in the United States. These include heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and hallucinogenic mushrooms.
- Schedule 2 drugs or substances have a high potential for abuse, currently have accepted medical use, or have accepted medical use with restrictions. These include cocaine, fentanyl, morphine, and methamphetamines.
- Schedule 3 drugs or substances have a potential for abuse less than that of the previous two schedules and currently have accepted medical use in treatment. These include some steroids and ketamine.
- Schedule 4 drugs or substances have a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule three, and they have accepted medical use in treatment. These include clonazepam and Phenobarbital.
- Schedule 5 drugs or substances have a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule four, and they have accepted medical use in treatment. These include codeine and ethylmorphine.
Penalties for Drug Possession in Georgia
Penalties for being in possession of any schedule 1 or narcotic schedule 2 drugs is two to fifteen years in prison. Subsequent violations result in penalties of up to 30 years in prison.
Penalties for possession of non-narcotic schedule 2 drugs is two to fifteen years in prison. Subsequent violations result in penalties of five to thirty years in prison.
Penalties for possession of Schedule 3, 4, or 5 drugs is one to five years in prison. Subsequent violations result in penalties of one to 10 years in prison.
In addition to possible prison time and fines, drug possession convictions result in license suspensions. For a first offense, there is a mandatory 6-month suspension. For a second offense, the suspension is one year. Subsequent offenses result in 2-year suspensions.