Gwinnett County police: No arrests, citations for misdemeanor marijuana cases

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Police in Gwinnett County have announced they are no longer going to make custodial arrests or issue citations for any crimes related to a misdemeanor amount of marijuana.

This decision comes after the Aug. 7 announcement by the Solicitor General of Gwinnett County saying that they will no longer prosecute misdemeanor marijuana cases that happened after May 10, 2019.

Solicitor General Brian Whiteside's memo said prosecutors don't have tests that can tell the difference between marijuana and hemp. That's an issue because of the new "Georgia Hemp Farming Act," which allows for hemp plants to be produced by licensed growers and possessed by individuals

MORE: Misdemeanor marijuana charges dropped in Gwinnett County

According to police, the difference involves the percentage of THC concentration. For hemp to be legal, it must have a concentration of 0.3 percent or less. Most illegal marijuana has a concentration of 10 percent or higher.

"I cannot prosecute these cases because there's no difference, scientifically, between hemp and marijuana," Whiteside said.

The GBI is researching technologies to determine the difference, but until that point, Gwinnett County police say effective immediately they will not make arrests for misdemeanor amounts.

Officials say police will still pursue crimes related to felony amounts of marijuana and say that the possession and use of the drug is still illegal.