The Gwinnett County Metro Police will halt all marijuana prosecutions at
this time. Since May 10, when the
Hemp Farming Act law was made official in Georgia since there has been no tested way to tell
what is hemp and what is marijuana.
On August 7, 2019, a memo was sent from, Brian Whiteside, a Gwinnett County solicitor to the county’s judges. This memo states
that marijuana cases will not be prosecuted until lawmakers change aspects
of the Hemp Farming Act.
The county doesn't have the technology required to differentiate legal
hemp between illegal marijuana.
Annually, there are 3000 to 4000 marijuana cases Gwinnett County, and anything
brought to the department after May 10, 2019, will be thrown out until
Whiteside said his decision to throw out all charges was based on ethics
Police say that marijuana and hemp are similar in look and smell. Neither
officers nor trained drug dogs can tell the difference. And with no THC
test available, picking farmers up for growing hemp is costly, against
the law, and looks bad for the department.
There is no way to prove that the seized project is illegal at this time.
All marijuana cases are pending until further action comes in. Until a
test becomes available, the prosecutors of Gwinnett County believe that
the rest of the state will soon follow.
Others are not so sure.
Dar’ shun Kendrick, a supporter of the bill and a state lawmaker,
believes that the prosecutors are wrong. “The hemp bill should have
nothing to do with marijuana. I think he may have a very liberal reading
of the bill.”
While the district attorney believes that two tests have been court-approved
the test would only alter officers if THC is at illegal levels. However,
Bureau Chief, and the recipient of Whiteside's memo, Tony Thomas stated
that throwing out marijuana cases could be over within months, depending
on when the DA's can purchase the field test.
Similar cases to this can be found in Athens-Clarke county, Cobb county,
and DeKalb county. To date, and according to
GPB radio news, over one-hundred cases have been thrown out, and more will follow.