One of the biggest challenges of working within the criminal justice system is dealing with the fact that drug policy and law tend to lag behind the best science out there for treating addiction. To some extent, this has to happen because research needs to be tested before being implemented, and policy change is slow. At the same time, though, outdated policies can often do more harm than good, and one area where that has become very apparent is in the way the system handles nonviolent drug offenders.
While there have been studies testing the idea for over 20 years now, not many people realize that many, if not most, drug addicts are self-medicating for various conditions. In fact, some studies have found that as many as two-thirds of all people treated for addiction have some form of severe psychological trauma in the past. The exact findings vary from study to study, which is why it has been important for addiction research to find ways to conduct larger-scale investigations into the phenomenon.
Prosecutors often offer plea deals in drug cases. They may also threaten the accused with a possible lengthy jail sentence if they refuse the offer.
Some people are who are arrested for drug crimes in Georgia find they have more than a criminal case to worry about. Under Georgia's civil asset forfeiture law, they can also lose their vehicle, their money and other assets.
Many people think that possession of a small amount of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense. While this is true in some states, it is not true in Georgia.