Senator Harold Jones is recommending less strict punishments on personal marijuana posession in the state of Georgia. Currently less than an ounce of bud will likely earn a misdemeanor and 30 grams can land you up to 10 years in jail. The negative repercussions of a marijuana possession conviction can span far into people's lives like losing the right to vote and to sit on a jury, as well as the chance for certain scholarships and student loans. Senator Jones wants to remove the harsh penalties associated with the lesser crime. The proposed bill is showing support on both democratic and republican sides and if passed could become law by next July.
"You lose the right to vote. You lose the right to sit on a jury. In Georgia, you can lose the right to get the Hope scholarship. As far as student loans are concerned, you lose that. And of course the stigma that comes with a felony, and of course the potential of jail time,” Jones said.
"So what we're going to do next year is change the structure of it, and probably have something along the lines of up to half an ounce will be a civil infraction. So, that will just be civil, no criminal penalty at all. And then up to probably 3 ounces it will be a misdemeanor. And then above that it would be a felony,” Jones explained.