The History of Marijuana in Georgia

Marijuana had been around for thousands of years way before it made its way to the United States. Once it was introduced to America, it didn’t take long for the drug to spread among all the states. For this reason, it is no surprise that even some of the strictest states in terms of marijuana legalization, have a long histories with the plant. Georgia, or the Peach State, is among one of these states that has a history with cannabis that dates back to the 1970s and 1980s.

During these earlier days, a number of sheriffs from the state of Georgia were actually being charged for smuggling cannabis into the state. Former moonshiner and Dawson County Sheriff, John David Davis was held in 1984 for $3 million bail after Federal agents arrested him in Florida, charging him with conspiring with five others to import and distribute marijuana and other substances. Amidst this controversy, Georgia’s Drug Enforcement Agency involved itself when it conducted aerial spraying of illegal cannabis plots in the Chattahoochee National Forest, using the dangerous herbicide paraquat, which citizens and lawmakers objected. Marijuana still remained illegal in the state until the introduction of the Haleigh’s Hope Act in 2015 to legalize medical marijuana. Georgia’s medical marijuana program has since expanded to include more patients.  

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For cannabis enthusiasts living in adult use states, long gone are the days of sneaking around with a dime bag in a coat pocket and worrying about whether the neighbors know you’ve got weed. But the sad truth is that, for millions of Americans living in prohibition or restrictive medical-only states, accessing safe and regulated cannabis is still a problem. But does that mean that those living without access to the regulated market are abstaining from cannabis altogether?

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