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GA Marijuana Reform Group Reaches Out to Gov. Deal

The group is asking Deal to suspend the arrest and prosecution of marijuana possession cases.

Advocates for marijuana law reform are calling on the state of Georgia to suspend the arrest and prosecution of marijuana possession cases, according to a recent release from Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform, & Education (Georgia CARE).

The call comes after state prosecutors said they lack the resources to prosecute a back log of child exploitation cases in a January press conference.

In Georgia, possession of more than 28 grams of marijuana carries up to ten (10) years in state prison. Roswell Police deal with their share of marijuana cases on a daily basis.

A letter to Governor Nathan Deal from James Bell, director of Georgia CARE, asks the governor to direct state agencies to suspend the arrest and prosecution of marijuana possession cases and use the limited resources on crimes against people and property, particularly child exploitation and violent offenders.

Read the entire letter, attached to this article, sent by Bell to Deal.

Bell points out the state found the resources to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate nearly 40,000 marijuana cases last year - a vast majority of these cases for mere possession.

“Wasting tax dollars and law enforcement resources on marijuana has jeopardized the public health and safety of the citizens of Georgia,” Bell wrote. “We respectfully request that you as governor of the State of Georgia take the lead in this matter and redirect the resources to ensure children are protected.”

Georgia CARE are advocates for reform of marijuana laws including medical marijuana and decriminalization for adults. The organization is engaged in a campaign to educate the the public and lawmakers on why marijuana law reform must be addressed.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana
laws and two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized personal
use amounts.

Georgia unanimously passed medical marijuana laws in 1980 but the program was halted due to lack of participation from the federal government.

Georgia CARE has made lobbying the state legislature for pot reform a priority this session.

For more about Georgia CARE, find them on Facebook.

FlyingTooLow January 28, 2013 at 04:02 PM
All card-carrying members of the DEA need to read: Shoulda Robbed a Bank Here is one of its reviews: 5.0 out of 5 stars... If David Sedaris had written 'Catcher in the Rye'..this would be it, June 30, 2012 Amazon Verified Purchase This review is from: Shoulda Robbed a Bank (Kindle Edition) I have never smoked pot in my life...nor do I ever care to. I read about this book in numerous Huffington Post comments. Thought I would read it because I know nothing about marijuana or the people involved with it. I am ecstatic that I did. Funny, Funny, Funny!!! The chapters are like short stories. Stories about unloading boats with helicopters, close encounters with law enforcement, traveling through the jungles of South America. The chapter about the author's first time smoking marijuana made me feel like I was with him...coughing. All of the characters were just a group of loveable, nice guys and girls. Not what I had been raised to believe...hysterical maniacs high on pot bent on death and mayhem. They were nothing like that. If you have ever read any of David Sedaris' books, and like them...you will love Shoulda Robbed a Bank. And the crazy things happening reminded me of Holden Caufield in 'Catcher in the Rye' and the way he staggered through life. The way the words are put together are like nothing I have ever heard. I am sure I will use many of the sayings found in this book just to dazzle my friends. A terrific read. I love this book.
Sharon January 30, 2013 at 01:29 PM
If we are to be serious about crime in Georgia, we need to decriminalize marijuana and use our limited resources on violent crime and crimes with victims. We may not like marijuana, but to keep arresting our young people and neighbors for something that in no way affects me, is not a rational approach. We have not arrested a single cigarette smoker and have lowered the rate of teen use by 40%. We need to regulate and educate.
FlyingTooLow January 30, 2013 at 01:37 PM
@ Sharon... You speak the truth.
Jamie January 30, 2013 at 04:51 PM
"We have not arrested a single cigarette smoker and have lowered the rate of teen use by 40%. We need to regulate and educate". Thanks Sharon, that truly puts it into perspective!!
Tim January 31, 2013 at 03:30 AM
It's about time our state took a rational look at drug control policy and realized that our current prohibitionist attitudes towards cannabis are causing more harm to society than the plant could ever hope to - students losing scholarships, teens ending up with prison records, parents having their children taken away. Prohibition destroys lives in an attempt to prevent people from choosing what they want to put into their bodies. I agree with Sharon - proper research and thorough public education is the key to allowing people to make informed and healthy decisions.

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