Hemp law complicates pot prosecution in Georgia county


LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Illegal marijuana users shouldn’t get comfortable in a Georgia county just yet.

Gwinnett County police announced in August that they wouldn’t jail people for small amounts of pot, for now, because hemp production was legalized in May by the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, and authorities don’t have field equipment to determine between hemp and marijuana.

A video of a Gwinnett police officer handing back marijuana to a driver during a traffic stop has since gone viral. The officer is heard in the video saying, “We cannot seize it, so you are more than welcome to have it back.”

But Cpl. Michele Pihera says marijuana prosecution talks happen daily, and the force could resume charging marijuana cases at any time, so people shouldn’t always expect what happened in the video.

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