Would-be law would have banned all pipes in one state

When compared with many other states, it is no secret — in fact, it is easily perceived and readily noted by even a quick scan of relevant law — that Georgia authorities have an entirely uncompromising attitude toward marijuana-related matters.

It takes only a minute or so to uncover stories demonstrating the harsh outcomes for many persons who are convicted on drug possession and distribution charges in the state. That applies even in cases involving what persons in many other states might regard as exceedingly minor or even insignificant amounts of pot.

When it comes to pot, the United States is in flux, with any map that highlights the variances among states in their attitudes, legal enactments and criminal prosecution quickly showing just how differentiated various pockets of the country are.

At one extreme, for example, reside Colorado and Washington, states where voters recently passed legislation allowing for the legalization of pot for recreational use. Many states have made medical marijuana legal.

Yet still, many others — like Georgia — have far less liberalized attitudes toward marijuana and make the assistance of a proven drug crimes defense attorney an absolute necessity for any person who is charged with a marijuana-related crime.

Recent news out of neighboring Florida reveals the great disparity in pot laws across the country, especially when highlighted in contrast to some of the permissive legislation that has passed in other states.

In quick summary, a lawmaker there had broad support among fellow legislators that almost allowed him to enact a law that would have banned the sale and use of all pipes in the state, even products unquestionably used by persons without the slightest interest in smoking marijuana.

Pipe sellers fought back with a lobbyist and were eventually able to get the bill’s language watered down. Florida law now provides stiff criminal penalties for any person who “knowingly and intentionally” sells any device to another that is intended for marijuana possession.

Commentators on the law say that the revised language effectively immunizes sellers against criminal liability in most cases.

Source: ABC NEWS, “Florida bong ban goes up in smoke,” Russell Goldman, June 19, 2013