Cotton v. State

686 S.E.2d 805, 300 Ga.App. 874 (2009)

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Cotton v. State

Georgia Court of Appeals
686 S.E.2d 805, 300 Ga.App. 874 (2009)

RW

Facts

The State of Georgia (plaintiff) prosecuted Omali Cotton (defendant) for possession with intent to distribute marijuana. At trial, police officers testified that they arrested Cotton in an area known for illegal drug activity. The officers searched Cotton and found 2.7 grams of marijuana in four small bags and $60 in loose small bills. Police did not find any smoking paraphernalia in Cotton's possession. An experienced officer testified that retail marijuana sales are generally conducted in small bags and petty cash. The officer also testified that drug dealers often find it more convenient to limit the number of marijuana bags in their possession at any given time, selling those bags and replenishing their supply from a larger concealed stash as needed. Finally, the officer testified that individuals who possess marijuana for their personal use usually keep their supply in a single large bag rather than in multiple small bags. Cotton's girlfriend testified that she gave Cotton $80 the day before he was arrested, that he often carried four small bags of marijuana for his personal use, and that she never saw Cotton sell marijuana. The jury convicted Cotton and he appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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