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Georgia: Majority Of Voters Support Legalizing Marijuana

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georgia marijuana legalizationA majority of Georgia voters believe that the adult use of marijuana should be legal and regulated, according to the findings of a statewide Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by Georgia NORML and Peachtree NORML.

Fifty-four percent of respondents endorsed “changing Georgia law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol.” Forty-one percent of respondents opposed the idea. The totals are similar to nationwide percentages reported earlier this month by CNN, which found that fifty-five percent of Americans favor making cannabis legal for adults.

Fifty-seven percent of those Georgians surveyed supported making cannabis legal for medical purposes only, while 33 percent opposed doing so.

By a margin of nearly 2 to 1, respondents supported decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses. Sixty-two percent of voters supported amending state law to make the offense a civil violation “punishable by a fine up to $100, but without jail time.” Over a dozen states impose similar fine-only sanctions for minor cannabis possession offenses. Thirty-two percent of voters endorsed maintaining existing criminal penalties.

Under present law, marijuana possession is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one-year incarceration and a $1,000 fine. In 2010, an estimated 32,500 Georgians were arrested for violating marijuana laws, according to the US Federal Bureau of Investigations. The total is the sixth highest of any state in America.

“The citizens of Georgia agree, marijuana prohibition is a wasteful and destructive policy,” said Peachtree NORML’s Executive Director Sharon Ravert. “It is time for our state to catch up with public opinion and find a more sensible solution to the status quo.”

Nearly 800 Georgia voters participated in the poll, which possesses a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

Source: NORML - make a donation

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15 Comments

  1. i think which ever state from the south starts the process of making it legal will become one of the wealthiest states of the south,i hope georgia does legalize it.I spent six straight months in jail because i got caught with 1 gram of pot,so i started using alcohol, the worst decision i ended up in jail more times than i wold if i just stuck with pot,blackouts,fighting,dui its that liquid courage and yet if i would just use pot i would be more in touch with right from wrong.

  2. Finally justice smoking a joint destroyed my record and i only smoked alone to keep my anxiety under control and also knee pains from me being ran over

  3. Not all that enjoy the benefits of the cannabis plant are pole smoking tree hugging democrats. I’m not. I live in Tennessee and have been a due hard conservative my whole life…and I LOVE MARIJUANA.

  4. And then you have people like Sen.John Barrow that doesn’t support legalization of weed and he is just one of many, that wants to keep putting hard working citizens in jail for the possession of MJ. I say vote him and all his cronies out of office ASAP!

  5. The vocal minority cowering in the church next to the capitol building will yell and scream bloody murder if any politician goes along with any form of legalization.

  6. Hope you get the right to have your meds one way or another, Peace my brother and thanks for fighting back!

  7. I am happy for you and your positive outlook, being a lifetime GA resident I am not getting my hopes up. The current dialogue does not mention all the adults in GA that need medical marijuana, it is all about the KIDS! I am not holding my breath, I believe it could still be years away until full medical marijuana is allowed in GA. I cannot go into details but I have challenged the state already in a criminal case and I came out much better than I thought it would, simply for the fact that they had never seen an out of state prescription for medical marijuana and were afraid to try it in local court because they could have lost. Still my life is on hold for years and I cannot have the medicine that I really need. So you see, people like me are paving the way being martyr’s. If I had it to do over I would have never come back to GA from CA where I lived. No one should have to lose thousands of dollars defending themselves and losing years of their life doing something that is harmless. If and when it passes everyone can thank people like me that have stood up to the system

  8. The current climate within the state of Georgia concerning cannabis is GOOD. Almost great. And while I’m thrilled by the recent polls, I’d rather slowly approach comprehensive reform that happens next year instead of pushing hard for something that won’t pass in this year’s short legislative session.
    State Rep Peake is crafting a bill to legalize CBD oil for kids with seizure disorders, and more power to him. That has a good chance of passing this year, and we should be overjoyed it does. State Rep McKoon has written a bill to establish an official study commission to explore the safety and medical efficacy of cannabis, and their report will be due by December 1st, this year.

    It is within the realm of possibility that the legislature is way more educated about cannabis than we know and that a comprehensive reform bill *could* make it into the short session with a chance of passing, but I don’t think we’re there yet. After Peake’s bill passes, after McKoon’s report comes back, and after the recent news about the polls and petitions have time to settle in the minds of Georgia voters, the time will be right for more reform. If 2014 plays out right, then comprehensive medical cannabis and decriminalization are *real* possibilities in 2015.

    However, Georgia must be cautious and learn from the mistakes of our neighbors. Poor Patricia Todd of Alabama drafts cannabis reform bills every year, but they never have a chance of passing (most often not even getting a hearing) because there has not been an adequate build-up of public support behind any of her reforms. North Carolina had the opposite problem — an overwhelming amount of public support for change, but no one in the legislature willing to listen. Georgia can and *IS* doing better because our local reform groups are gathering the necessary support both inside and outside the Golden Dome.

    Just wait. We have to strike when the iron is hot, not before, and the heat is still building. My heart breaks for the people who will have to wait (the cancer patients who need help NOW, the student losing financial aid, everyone who will be arrested this year), but it cannot be rushed. We need to do this right or it won’t get done at all.

  9. About time. If Georgia doesn’t take part in legalizing and taxing they are going to miss out alot on the benefits. Although I think it should have no penalty for possession unless over a ounce on your person in public in your private (home) no penalty of any amount unless caught selling. I think you should be able to grow for your personal use with up to maybe 8 plants to a house or no more than 10 for personal use. People don’t understand the different things these plants provide. More than smoking or medical use but hemp provided by the plant can be used to build and make things. It grows faster than trees plus the more trees we save and more we plant the healthier our planet could get.

  10. If just one state in the south would legalize cannabis it would automatically become the economic powerhouse of the region due to a severe influx of population growth plus tourism. C’mon Georgia and all you bible thumpers, LEGALIZE IT DON’T CRITICIZE IT…