The fight to legalize medical marijuana in the Peach State, which currently has some of the most punitive laws regarding weed possession, has seen a lot of progress in the past year. This is in line with the countrywide push for more relaxed marijuana possession laws—a stance shared by many Georgian citizens. The following are just some of the reasons why more and more Georgians are supporting the decriminalization of the plant.
1. They’re getting with the times.
The majority of Georgians recognize that “marijuana prohibition is a wasteful and destructive policy,” says Peachtree NORML’s Executive Director, Sharon Ravert. Ravert, a Southern Republican, is voicing the opinion of many citizens who support the decriminalization and taxation of marijuana. In fact, a statewide Public Policy Polling commissioned by Peachtree NORML and Georgia NORML showed that 42% of Georgians supported a legislation to regulate marijuana similar to how alcohol is regulated. 57% of those surveyed expressed support for legalization of medicinal marijuana only.
2. They see the economic potential of decriminalizing and taxing marijuana.
While Colorado has yet to raise tax revenues that match projections, it’s important to note that the limitations placed on how much marijuana retailers are allowed to sell greatly limits the state’s ability to generate tax revenue. Nevertheless, with a majority of the Georgian population supporting the regulation of marijuana, both recreational and medicinal, the potential economic benefits are hard to ignore.
3. They recognize the medicinal benefits of marijuana and are willing to travel out of state to obtain it legally.
Many-a-Georgian family travel to Colorado to obtain medical marijuana legally, and Georgian Governor, Nathan Deal, wants to ensure that those families are not penalized upon returning home. “I hope to sign legislation to decriminalize cannabis oil so families who need and obtain it legally will not be prosecuted for possessing it,” Deal stated in his State of the State speech back in January. Currently, Deal is set to sign a new medical marijuana bill that allows patients to possess cannabis oil without facing arrest and prosecution.
Though Georgia may still be a little bit further away from legalization than other states, it’s clear there’s an appetite for change.
Header photo credit: 55thstreet