Marijuana leaves

Illinois is now the 11th state in the United States to legalize the purchase and possession of recreational marijuana.

ATLANTA (CBS46) – Misdemeanor amounts of marijuana will no longer be prosecuted in Gwinnett County, according to a Monday announcement from the county’s solicitor general.

According to the solicitor general, due to the change in the law regarding allowable THC concentrations; no misdemeanor cases with an arrest date on or after May 10, 2019 will be prosecuted. In addition, the county police department will not make “custodial arrests or issue citations for crimes related to misdemeanor amounts of marijuana.”

GCPD said it will still pursue crimes related to felony amounts of marijuana and, “those cases will be reviewed by the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office on a case-by-case basis.”

Gwinnett County said the problematic issue with enforcement is determining the “difference between legal hemp and illegal marijuana as they are identical by smell and sight, even under a microscope.” But the currently used by GCPD and GBI crimes labs only tests for the presence of THC, not the concentration of THC and there is currently not a court accepted test that can differentiate between hemp and marijuana.

Under the law, hemp must have a THC concentration of 0.3 percent or less to be legal. GCPD said typical marijuana has a THC concentration of around 10-15 percent; while high grade marijuana may have a THC concentration of 25-35 percent.

According to the GCPD, it relies on training and certification by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and it has not established protocol and training on THC concentration.

GCPD reminded the public that “possession and use of marijuana is illegal.”

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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