Georgia Lawmakers Continue to Consider Medical Marijuana Bill

Georgia Lawmakers Find Bipartisan Support for Medical Marijuana Bill

medical marijuana billAlthough Georgia did not pass medical marijuana legislation during this past midterm election, lawmakers in the state are pressing ahead to propose a medical marijuana bill with bipartisan support for next year.

A series of committee meetings on the subject included testimony from law enforcement agents, as well as medical communities both for and against medical marijuana. State legislators are using the information they gathered at those meetings to draft a Georgia medical marijuana bill  and bring clinical trials into the state.

“I don’t think any of us are opposed to finding out how effective it is or how it works, but let’s have compassionate use with it as well,” said Bob Kutchback, a medical marijuana advocate whose granddaughter suffers a rare epilepsy disorder. South Carolina recently passed a very limited form of medical marijuana legislation to allow patients with debilitating, rare, chronic disorders like severe epilepsy to use a form of medical marijuana called CBD oil. CBD oil, an oil with the cannabidiol extract from marijuana plants, does not have any THC, which is the chemical compound that gets users high.

Although Georgia’s original medical marijuana bill was similar to South Carolina’s bill, it ultimately did not pass a vote. Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) proposed the bill, and is also taking a lead on the most recent draft of Georgia’s proposed medical marijuana legislation, which will include licenses for businesses to work with the state to grow marijuana specifically for cannabidiol processing.

“I feel very confident that my colleagues want to move forward with a public policy that provides a very tightly restricted, very regulated delivery system for cannabis oil in Georgia,” Peake said. “We can’t move fast enough.”

However, Peake added that he’s aware of 15 families who have left Georgia to live in Colorado or other states with medical marijuana legislation, and three children have died while lawmakers have been debating the issue.

Law enforcement agents are, naturally, concerned about criminal operations involving marijuana, using medical marijuana as an excuse. Doctors also expressed their concern over the efficacy of marijuana for medical use, saying that no large-scale clinical trials, like those used in other prescription drugs, have shown whether medical marijuana is effective or not.

“To give something as powerful as cannabidiol oil really needs to be done initially within the confines of a clinical trial so there are medical professionals able to help these children monitor liver function, monitor their psychiatric outlook so we are able to do it safely,” Dr. Cynthia Wetmore, director for clinical and translational research at Children’s HealthCare of Atlanta, said at a hearing. “I would only do it within the realm of a clinical study until it’s proven safe.”

If You Face Criminal Drug Charges for Medical Marijuana Use, The Strom Law Firm Can Help

Although many states have passed medical marijuana legislation, Georgia still has not legalized the use of marijuana for recreational or medical reasons. You could be charged with drug possession in Georgia. If you or a loved one have been found with medical marijuana, you could face criminal charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony, depending on how much marijuana was on your person, and what your intent was with the drug. The drug crimes attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. (912) 289-0501