Drug use has risen during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the fact that use of illicit drugs, including marijuana, is still illegal. Georgia law prohibits the possession, possession with intent to distribute, distribution, sale, manufacture and trafficking of these controlled substances.
If caught with illegal drugs, pandemic or not, a teen, young adult or any individual could be arrested. The charge could be a felony or misdemeanor. One determining factor is the amount in possession; another is the type of controlled substance.
Commonly used illegal drugs include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs obtained without a doctor’s prescription. In 2018, 40% of all drug arrests nationwide were for marijuana-related offenses, according to the Pew Research Center. Of those, 92% were for possession. Heroin, cocaine and other derivatives accounted for 25% of all arrests, synthetic or manufactured drugs for 6%, and “other” drugs the remainder.
Some of the most common drug citations or arrests in Georgia are:
- Controlled substance possession – this involves any illicit drug, including marijuana, as well as many prescription drugs, if the possessor does not have a prescription. Possession charges are usually felonies. Small amounts of marijuana are an exception. Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Georgia law breaks illegal drugs into five categories. Penalties for possession vary by the type of drug.
- Possession of drug-related objects can refer to objects used to grow or manufacture, package or store an illegal drug. It also relates to any object used or intended for the use of injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing an illegal substance to the human body.
- Drug distribution or Possession with Intent to Distribute – distribution relates to any transfer of drugs from one person to another. Intent to distribute charges are often brought about when there are indicia of distribution, such as multiple bags, scales, etc.
- Sale of controlled substances – it is illegal to sell or attempt to sell an illicit drug or other controlled substance to anyone in Georgia. This includes the sale of a prescription drug to someone other than the person for whom the drug was prescribed. Penalties for sale vary by the category of illegal substances.
- Drug trafficking – refers to the production, delivery, sale, possession or distribution of large amounts of illicit drugs. Basically, any activity in the drug chain, from making to distributing, can bring a charge of drug trafficking if it involves large amounts.
- Drug manufacturing – this is the cultivation or manufacturing of an illegal substance. It could involve growing marijuana or the manufacturing of methamphetamine. The charge and penalty vary by type and amount of illicit drug. Someone intending to manufacture might also be charged with drug manufacturing.
Georgia laws on drugs are complicated and some of the strictest in the country. If you or a teen or young adult in your life is arrested or otherwise charged with a drug charge, contact a lawyer.
Call the Experienced Drug Defense Attorneys at Ghanouni
If you or your child have been charged with a drug-related crime, the experienced attorneys at Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm can help. We regularly defend individuals against drug-related charges in local and, state courts. Contact us for a complimentary Defense Strategy Meeting.