According to Rockdale County police, an ice cream truck in Conyers contained “ice cream sandwiches, ice pops, marijuana, weight scales and a gun.” The driver, Cameron Callaway, is facing charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possessing a firearm during an attempt to commit a felony.
A resident called police after she witnessed Callaway allegedly taking a package from her mailbox. The police pulled him over and conducted an investigation of his ice cream truck where they discovered marijuana, scales, and other drug paraphernalia.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I know how confusing Georgia drug offenses can be. Narcotics are legally referred to as controlled substances in Georgia. The Georgia Controlled Substances Act regulates marijuana. Illegal drugs are considered controlled substances, and Georgia Law classifies them into five different schedules. Hashish and other concentrates containing more than fifteen percent of THC by volume are a Schedule I substance by the Georgia Controlled Substances Act.
The plant form of marijuana is not considered in the different schedules within the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, but through O.C.G.A. §16-13-1(a)(1), the term “controlled substance” includes marijuana.
In today's post, I will outline the difference between the offense of possession of marijuana and the offense of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in Georgia.
Possession of Marijuana
Georgia Law defines possession of marijuana in Georgia as:
“It is unlawful for any person to purchase, possess, or have under his control any controlled substance.” O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(a).
It is important for me to note that a person can receive a possession of marijuana charge even if he or she is not personally holding the marijuana itself. Legally, if you are found to be in control of the marijuana, then you are considered to be in possession of it.
If convicted for possession of marijuana, the conviction has different penalties depending on the amount of marijuana in actually in possession. For possession of 1 ounce or less, the conviction is considered a misdemeanor with jail time up to 12 months and a maximum fine of $1,000. For possession of greater than 1 ounce of marijuana, the conviction is considered a felony and includes fines and a prison sentence between one and ten years.
Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute
Georgia Law defines possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in Georgia as:
“It is unlawful for any person to manufacture, deliver, distribute, dispense, administer, sell, or possess with intent to distribute any controlled substance.” O.C.G.A. §16-13-30(b).
To be convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, the prosecution must show that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by demonstrating that the person had the intent to distribute. The intent element will require the most proof by the state.
If convicted of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, the conviction is considered a felony. The penalty ranges from anywhere of one to ten years in prison.