How much trouble do you think you could get into for being caught with less than an ounce of marijuana? As one man learned after he was arrested in Athens recently, the answer is: quite a lot.
According to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, a 20-year-old University of Georgia student was observed failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. An officer pulled the man over and as the two were talking, the officer smelled what he described as "the odor of green marijuana."
The officer asked the man to turn over the drug and the man gave him a marijuana grinder. The man consented to a search of his vehicle and the office then found a second marijuana grinder and a fake ID.
The man was then taken to Clarke County Jail. Charges against him are pending.
It would be understandable of University of Georgia students thought something as evidently inoffensive as a tiny amount of pot would just be overlooked by authorities, but that is never the case. Police officers have laws to enforce and are likely to be deaf to your protests about it being your first time or your promises that you will never do it again.
It is likely that this young man will now have to face a very harsh and severe punishment for what may have been a one-time mistake. Many people in his situation choose to work with attorneys to ensure that they are not done a disservice by the criminal justice system.
Source: The Athens Red & Black, "University student arrested for possession of marijuana," Megan Ernst, Jan. 29, 2012