RECENT ISSUE IN SAVANNAH
City Alderman Proposes Decriminalizing Marijuana in Savannah
A Savannah city alderman is proposing lessening the charge for possession of marijuana less than an ounce to a simple $150 fine:
This would be a drastic reduction in penalty from the current possession of marijuana charge, which is a misdemeanor crime and carries with it a likely arrest.
Simple possession of marijuana is one of the most frequently charged crimes in Savannah. The proposed change, which would go into effect in January 2018, would lessen the impact that marijuana possession would have on a person’s life. At present, a possession of marijuana charge often derails a person’s education (especially SCAD students) and can threaten their career. By changing the penalty to a $150 fine for a first offense, Savannah will make it much more likely that a person does not have serious repercussions if they are found with less than one ounce of marijuana.
There are several things to know about the current marijuana proposal. Right now, it is only a proposal and it would not go into effect unless it is approved by the Savannah City Council. It does face some opposition on the Council, so its approval will be tough to get. Also, the proposal would only cover situations where a person is found to be in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. If someone is caught with more than one ounce, they will continue to be charged with felony marijuana possession.
Additionally, the proposal is only for the Savannah city limits. If you are found to have marijuana outside the City of Savannah, such as in Thunderbolt or Pooler, you will still be prosecuted for committing a misdemeanor crime.
The marijuana proposal is a big step for Savannah, and it seeks to put the City in line with other cities nationwide, including Atlanta, that have decriminalized simple marijuana possession. You should know your rights when it comes to the marijuana laws. Call us at The Turner Firm to learn more about the laws regarding marijuana possession.