Update on Colorado, Washington pot law; Georgia serves to contrast

State lines can certainly allow for variance and differentiated outcomes when it comes to the charging and prosecution of drug crimes.

Take marijuana possession, for example. In a recent blog post (please see our November 12 post entry), we informed readers of the decision made by voters in the states of Colorado and Washington to legalize pot for recreational use.

That decision certainly underscores the difference in outcome if a casual user is stopped by law enforcement officials in one state as opposed to another

Take Georgia, for instance, where possession of any drug — including marijuana, and even in a relatively small amount — is construed quite soberly and deemed a serious infraction of state law.

In Georgia, a person arrested for less than one ounce of marijuana with no motive other than using the pot for personal use — in other words, with no intent to distribute — faces a potential criminal penalty of up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. That is, quite obviously, a heavy price to pay, and it goes without saying that any person in the state facing such consequences should immediately contact an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney.

In Colorado and Washington, conversely, new amendments passed stipulate that persons 21 and older shall not be prosecuted for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana. District attorneys from throughout Colorado are already dropping a number of pot possession cases involving arrests made prior to passage of the amendment. Washington prosecutors have already stated that they will be dropping all such cases.

Again, that contrasts heavily to the situation in Georgia. A knowledgeable drug crimes attorney can answer questions and provide a diligent defense against any drug possession charge.

Source: Huffington Post, “Denver prosecutors dropping some marijuana possession cases in wake of Amendment 64 passage,” Nov. 16, 2012