This week (1/1/2017) Georgia Senator Harold V. Jones II of Augusta filed a “marijuana harm reduction” bill in the state Senate (Georgia SB 105) that moves the felony amount from one ounce to two ounces and allows for a $300 fine only for a half ounce or less. This bill also address court jurisdiction in handling marijuana cases.
Georgia CARE Project director James Bell said they have been working with Sen. Jones on this bill and view it as a harm reduction bill that will lessen the negative impact that current marijuana laws have on the citizens of Georgia.
According to Bell, this bill does no advance decriminalization or legalization but will have a major impact on how the courts deal with marijuana prohibition. The bill is viewed as a measure that could realistically pass, as it is in line with Gov. Deal’s criminal justice reform initiatives.
“By moving the felony amount from one ounce to two ounces, we prevent thousands of Georgians from becoming felons,” Bell said. “Allowing for a $300 fine for small amounts will eliminate the risk of prison time for many more citizens.”
Georgia SB 105 is a step in the right direction for marijuana law reform as public opinion has shifted to a more tolerable view of the prohibited plant.
Senate co-sponsors of the bill include – Elena Parent (42nd), Vincent Fort (39th), Michael ‘Doc’ Rhett (33rd), Gail Davenport (44th) and Donzella James (35th).
Our Position: Georgia CARE Project supports the legalization of cannabis but also supports any measure to reduce the harm caused by prohibition. Cannabis should not be a crime and citizens should have the right to possess and consume cannabis responsibly.