Lawmaker wants to eliminate felony marijuana possession laws in Georgia

ATLANTA — Change The Peach State to the Pot state? A Georgia state lawmaker wants to put an end to felony marijuana possession in Georgia.

State Sen. Harold Jones II, D-Augusta, has pre-filed Senate Bill 254.He contends the measure is not an attempt at legalizing marijuana in the state.

“In no way would my bill legalize the possession or selling of narcotics,” Jones said in a news release. “It would eliminate the draconian penalties that accompany a felony arrest and conviction. From having your voting rights suspended to losing eligibility for federal and state benefits, like food assistance, the cost of regulating marijuana as a felony outweighs the negligible benefits.”

According to a news release, there are 10 states that do not have any felony possession laws on the books. The treatment of marijuana possession varies greatly state to state.

Possession of 1 ounce or more is classified as a felony in Georgia. First-offense felony possession minimums range from “any” in states like New Mexico to 960 ounces in Louisiana.

The measure will be considered when the state legislature reconvenes starting Jan. 11.

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