Medical Cannabis Bill Revealed in Georgia
By Alizeh Siddiqui, Marijuana Policy Project
AUGUSTA, GA — Georgia state lawmakers revealed what the state’s new medical marijuana bill will look like after last year’s proposed bill failed.
Medical marijuana grow houses and immunity from prosecution for the families of patients who legally obtain it from other states and bring it back to Georgia are two elements of the new medical marijuana bill that state lawmakers will debate in January.
State Rep. Allen Peake, the bill sponsor, said that Georgia’s lawmakers have learned a lot over the past year and hope to pass a better bill this year that would allow private entities to grow medical marijuana in the state.
Peake also said that the medical marijuana grown in Georgia would contain very low THC so that patients would not be able to get high from it.
“If what we’re going to do is legalize a product that is so low in THC that there’s no way to get high off of it, why not provide it as an alternative for other diagnoses — cancer, glaucoma, ALS?” Peake stated.
However, low or no THC medical marijuana laws leave most patients behind. While THC does cause the “high” associated with the substance, patients use medical marijuana for relief, not for euphoria. It has also been shown to have many medical qualities itself.
Georgia’s medical marijuana legislation should not be so restrictive as to leave behind patients who could benefit from access to a variety of medical marijuana strains with different chemical compositions.
Last year’s bill, House Bill 885, received approval in a landslide vote of 171-4 in the Georgia House of Representatives and unanimous support in the Senate. Unfortunately the bill, also known as “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” failed at the last hour due to a political standoff between the two chambers.