Gwinnett DA’s Ignorance on Delta-8 Threatens Livelihoods, Public Safety

The Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office playing Reefer Madness games again this week, and endangering the public by spreading lies about the legal status and safety of Delta-8 THC products.

Delta-8 THC is both legally produced and legal to sell under Georgia’s Hemp Farming Act. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration confirmed late last year that Delta-8 derived from cannabis is NOT a federally controlled substance. The cannabinoid can be produced either synthetically from non-cannabis materials (not legal) or naturally derived from the kind of low-THC cannabis plants Georgia’s legislature has specifically authorized as legal (as long as farmer pay the state’s hefty licensing fees).

The Gwinnett DA is either grossly misinformed or deliberately misinforming the public.

Consumers are encouraged to research the origins and ingredients of anything they put in their bodies (especially something bought in a gas station) but those choices belong to the individual, not law enforcement.

The continued gray areas of cannabis law in Georgia are a result of the legislature’s unwillingness to acknowledge the safety and effectiveness of cannabis products (especially as compared to cigarettes or alcohol, far greater public health threats) and continued violation of the public will (72% of Georgians support in-state cannabis cultivation, 55% believe any adult use should be legal). With evidence-based legislation, such confusions could be clarified, individual liberties better protected, and law enforcement resources better used.

More importantly for Gwinnett residents, law enforcement could cease wasting public money and abusing trust by harassing businesses or seizing safe, legal products that residents want to buy. Bullying health supplement shops while shrugging off the  victims of Gwinnett’s 140 recent unsolved homicides and hundreds of untested rape kits makes the DA’s claim to be “committed to protecting the citizens of Gwinnett County” ring pretty hollow.

But a clue to the DA’s misguided priorities hides at the end of the public statement: “Anyone found to be possessing, selling, or in any way distributing these substances could risk having their assets seized by the state of Georgia.” Like most anti-drug crusades, this announcement is likely a grab for more power, and to seize Georgian’s money and property. It is demonstrably not about science, nor safety.