By: Alexander Contreras
Georgia C.A.R.E. Project held a rally at Athens City Hall on December 1st fighting for the decriminalization of marijuana.
The Georgia Campaign and Access Reform and Education, or C.A.R.E., hopes to reform Georgia’s laws. Georgia currently has strict marijuana laws in the United States, punishing possession of 1 oz or less of marijuana with up to a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison. Possession of 2 oz or more can result in up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
C.A.R.E. attends monthly commissioner meetings with hopes to persuade members in their favor. Currently, not much progress has been made, and members are asking more from city hall
Georgia is not the only state with strict law, but many states have moved to change possession provisions. Eight states have medical marijuana laws passed, and five states so far have removed jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
Marijuana has been proven to have positive medicinal uses, including treatment for nausea, muscles spasms, vomiting, and severe pain. However, it also has several risk factors, including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, reduced cognitive ability, and addiction. Dr. Randall Tackett, a professor of clinical pharmacy, believes it’s important to acknowledge the pros and cons of medicinal marijuana use equally.
“There’s no substance that is effective in man that doesn’t come with the risk,” Tackett explains, “I think what people try to do is they try to exaggerate the benefits and they try to minimize the risk.”