Arrested for Weed or THC?
Answers to Your Questions:
Here are common questions I hear about marijuana law in Georgia, and what I tell my clients:
What is THC and what does THC have to do with marijuana?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the ingredient in marijuana that gives people the effect of being high. THC can be extracted out of marijuana and can be sold in concentrated forms like oil or wax. Lawmakers in Georgia have targeted both marijuana and THC itself in making criminal laws about drug possession. In Georgia, you can be criminally charged for possessing marijuana in plant form or for possessing other forms of THC like wax, oil and edibles. When you are drug tested, they are looking for the levels of THC in your blood or urine. Whether you use green leafy marijuana, a THC cartridge in a dab or vape pen, eat a THC or marijuana edible, or even some versions of CBD, some THC may show up in your blood stream.
Is weed legal if I have a medical need?
If the Georgia Department of Health has given you a card qualifying you to possess low THC oil, and you possess no more than 20 ounces of that low THC oil, you should not be arrested. But, most people who are arrested in Georgia don't have the required card and/or don't have low THC oil in their possession. They are usually arrested for possessing another form of marijuana or THC.
Is weed legal is some cities in Georgia?
Not exactly. Atlanta, Savannah and some other cities have "decriminalized" possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in plant form. What that means is if you are caught with a small amount of leafy green marijuana in those cities, you will likely only be fined instead of facing criminal charges. Some other law enforcement agencies are choosing not to arrest for misdemeanor amounts of marijuana but will confiscate and destroy it. But larger amounts of marijuana or possession of THC in other forms will still be charged criminally anywhere in the state. Remember, only certain places have decriminalized possessing small amounts of marijuana or choose not to arrest. The state law in Georgia remains that possession of marijuana in any form is considered a crime.
Is possessing weed just a misdemeanor?
If you are in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in plant form (dried or fresh, stems, leaves, buds, etc.), you will be facing a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you have more than an ounce, or you possess THC in some other form, you may be facing a felony.
If you are caught with an ounce or more of leafy green marijuana, you are facing a felony with 1 to 10 years plus a possible fine as the punishment. This 1 to 10 years can be on probation, in custody, or some combination of both. If you are caught with at least 10 pounds of marijuana, you may be facing trafficking charges with at least a 5 year minimum.
Is THC wax or THC oil a misdemeanor or a felony?
Possessing THC wax or oil is a FELONY in Georgia. Even if there is just a little bit (even less than an ounce, even just residue), possession of THC wax or oil is a felony. If you possess less than 4 grams of it, the punishment is 1 to 3 years (probation, custody or both) plus a possible fine. If you have 4 grams or more of the THC oil or wax, the punishments become more and more severe.
What happens if I get caught with an edible?
Edibles that contain THC oil are also criminal, and the law permits the entire edible to be weighed even if only a small percentage of the edible is the THC oil. This means possessing a single THC brownie that weighs just over 4 grams could mean you're facing 1 to 8 years in prison, and it can get worse than that. Georgia treats edibles very harshly, and I've done an entire blog post about it to help you understand it. If you use edibles, you'll want to educate yourself. Click HERE to learn more about edibles and Georgia law.
How long after I use THC or weed will I test positive in a drug test?
Weed (THC) stays in your system longer if you are regular user as opposed to someone who just uses it now and then. There are also other things that affect how long it stays in your system, like your body's metabolism, fat cells, etc. Because everyone's body and how much they use is different, it is very hard to predict. I usually tell my clients allow at least 30 days for it to go away if you only used it once in a while. Sometimes it is gone much sooner, but you can't be sure. If you use weed every day, it could actually be several months before it is out of your system. Also, some drug tests (like the ones used in courthouse drug labs) are much more sensitive than home tests, so testing positive will also depend on what kind of test is being used, and what the cutoff is for the level in the test that is considered "positive."
Can I get arrested for CBD oil?
As long as the CBD oil conforms with the laws of Georgia (it can't be more than .3% THC), you should not be charged. However, if the CBD oil contains more than the legal limit of THC, you could be charged with possessing THC oil which is a felony. As I mentioned above, if you have a medical card that permits you to have low THC oil, then you won't be charged for certain kinds of THC oil.
Can I get arrested for Delta-8 THC?
As of right now, Delta-8 (a hemp-derived cannabidiol "CBD") is legal in Georgia [**but see the below update**], although sales are often restricted to people 21 and over. Some states have already created laws against Delta 8 and how federal law will handle it is unclear. It is certainly possible that Georgia lawmakers will seek to regulate or outlaw Delta-8 entirely in the future. Also, because Delta 8 isn't subject to regulation, it's important to be aware that you may not know what you're getting when you purchase it. Because the laws around the country on Delta 8 is constantly changing, it is important to keep up to date so that you don't end up on the wrong side of the law some day with Delta 8 in your possession.
A quick 2022 update on the issue of Delta 8 in Georgia:
In 2022, shops selling Delta-8 in different counties across Georgia have been raided by law enforcement. Police are arguing that the ingredients in the Delta-8 should be considered illegal. They have seized products and the money from the sale of these products. Some defense attorneys have been successful in getting these charges dismissed, but some counties' prosecutors are sticking with trying to prosecute for possession of Delta 8 products. For this reason, I caution anyone possessing or selling Delta-8 to keep track of these unfolding situations and how their county is currently approaching the issue. At this stage, it IS possible for someone to end up with a VGCSA (drug or weed charge) for possessing something they believed to be entirely legal, like Delta-8.
For more information on this recent trend: