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Medical Marijuana Bill Rolls Through House Committee

Medical marijuana in oil or pill form would be allowed for some ailments under a bill approved by a Georgia House subcommittee.

Medical marijuana in oil or pill form would be allowed for some ailments under a bill approved by a Georgia House subcommittee. Credit: File|Patch
Medical marijuana in oil or pill form would be allowed for some ailments under a bill approved by a Georgia House subcommittee. Credit: File|Patch

Medical marijuana could be grown and used in Georgia to treat patients with cancer, glaucoma and seizure disorders under a bill approved Wednesday by a House panel.

Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), sponsored Haleigh’s Hope Act after learning of 4-year-old Haleigh Cox of Monroe County, who suffers from epilepsy and endures as many as 100 seizures a day, reports Georgia Public Radio.

For children like Haleigh, a marijuana derivative called cannabidiol (CBD) has significantly reduced the seizures. Parents have said CBD is the only treatment providing relief.

Peake said his bill would allow academic research institutions to grow the plant, not businesses or individuals.    
 
“That's the last thing we want is to allow folks to start growing cannabis in their backyard or anyone, even a business, to do it at this point.  We're just doing it for academic research centers,” Peake told WSB TV

Parent Janea Cox has a child with a seizure disorder, and she favors the medical use of marijuana in Georgia.

“I think it's a good idea to grow it here, that way they can keep tight regulations on it.  And they know exactly when it's being grown, how it's tested,” Cox  told WSB. “This could be their last possible hope of living a good life.”

The bill now goes to the House and if it wins passage there would go on to the Senate for approval. If enacted, the Georgia Composite Medical Board would oversee the use of marijuana derivatives in an oil or pill form, for treatment of patients within an academic medical center research setting, under the direction of a physician.

The only conditions approved for treatment would be seizure disorders, glaucoma, and nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and radiation.

The Marijuana Policy Project says, ”We already know from similar programs in other states that this will be unworkable. Please ask your legislators to support an effective medical marijuana program in Georgia based on MPP’s model bill.”

Twenty other states have medical marijuana laws, allowing for in-state production, manufacture and distribution for treatment of patients on the recommendation of their physicians.

In August 2013, the U.S. Justice Department issued an advisory saying federal prosecutors would not pursue investigations of medical marijuana as long as its use complied with the states’ guidelines.

Bob February 27, 2014 at 06:33 PM
Georgians and their reps are too stupid to allow a medical marijuana bill to pass. All they want to do is to be left alone with their alcohol so they can make love to their toilet bowls after they are done drinking to excess.
Esoteric Knowledge February 27, 2014 at 07:18 PM
“That's the last thing we want is to allow folks to start growing cannabis in their backyard or anyone, even a business, to do it at this point. We're just doing it for academic research centers,” Oh the horror of plants growing! Oh the horror of people who are afraid of a plant not being able to oppress and dictate the lives of everyone and subjugate reality! Oh the horror of reality! Oh God!!!...There's a corn plant!...Save me from it!...The sky!...Help!...Save me from the horror of air! Ha-ha! Why do we put up with such insanity! Everyone who wants to be crazy and claim you have the power larger than the Universe to ban species--just lock them up in a mental institution where they belong. I want to be an adult in this Universe! I don't want to be ruled by the most cowardly, mentally deranged, immoral individuals that the world can produce, so they can squander and waste everyone's life because they can't think of anything more creative to do with life than enslave others and live in a world where we all get pulled down to experience Hell.
Sophist February 27, 2014 at 11:58 PM
Bob is a toilet bowl hater.
electric123 February 28, 2014 at 05:47 AM
Medical marijuana is not the plant but a liquid form for medical usage, and regulated not like Colorado recreational marijuana law, which is also on a tight choke chain or the feds will step in and arrest people even in Colorado, so if liberal Colorado has got it policed by shop owners and state and local police, GA will never allow recreational usage or sale, so all you dopehead better check on jobs and property to get to in CO.
Big Willy February 28, 2014 at 07:31 AM
Bio engineered corn is more dangerous to our health and economy than this magical plant that was created by god. Alcohol is a derivitave of corn? We should also consider the fact that there are many more health benefits from this plant than the few allowances that this bill provides. At least they are considering these. It's a good first step.
Pat Farrar February 28, 2014 at 08:23 AM
Legal-schmegal. Back when I had a bunch of pothead friends, they had no problem acquiring weed when they wanted it for a good high. Hard to believe its so difficult for people with a real need. To treat a sick loved one, is anybody really going to quibble about a misdemeanor? I wouldn't and my criminal career is limited to a couple of speeding tickets over 67 years
Octo Slash February 28, 2014 at 08:44 AM
At the rate Georgia's oh-so-enlightened political hacks are going, your great-great-grandchildren might be able to smoke a joint without fear of arrest...while they die from cancer. All you politicians and people who are scared witless of pot: I hope you don't have to watch a loved one slowly suffer and die, and have to explain to them why they can't at least get some of the benefits of weed. It ain't fun going through that, trust me. I couldn't care less if marijuana is ever completely legalized for recreational use by Georgians. If people want to smoke for fun, they're going to. But to not make it medically legal RIGHT NOW is just typical political head-up-the-arse cowardice.
Ann Hudren February 28, 2014 at 09:35 AM
Medical marijuana and recreational use are two different issues. Even tough I support this legalization of drugs like marijuana, I don't like that either side attempts to lump them together. I believe you should have the freedom to smoke pot just like you do tobacco products. Pot will be heavily regulated, controlled, and taxed to the hilt much quicker than tobacco ever was. Anyone that thinks otherwise that the government is going to let recreational pot smokers go hog wild isn't thinking clearly. Again, I don't like it but that's the way it WILL BE. Medical marijuana is a no brainer - let the sick and terminally I'll have it.
Sandy Lender February 28, 2014 at 12:06 PM
@electric123, Medical cannabis is cannabis in all forms (plant, oils, hash, wax, edibles). Please do some research. @Pat Farrer, Keeping cannabis illegal supports the illegal drug trade and all the bad the goes with it. I'll bet you'd get more then a misdemeanor if you gave your child cannabis.
J. W. MacMahon February 28, 2014 at 01:25 PM
As a pharmacist, I have entered comment on several "forums" related to the de-criminalization of MJ..The personal use is a matter of personal choice. The laws today are predicated on the Harrison Narcotic Act, which was enacted in 1937 to control the heavy duty narcotics such as heroin (which was still used by physicians at that time) and other entities such as opium related narcotics. At that time, "Killer Weed" was wrongfully included with the truly heavy narcotics above. So, at this point in time we are still bound by a law that was incorrect at inception some 65 years ago and continues to reek havoc on the some estimated 50 million American "criminals" today. It behooves us all to learn the true nature of MJ and discontinue the knee-jerk response to its recreational use. MJ and alcohol are two very separate entities and cannot be compared pharmacologically, but the damage and heartache brought on by alcohol abuse is certainly exponential to any such effect caused by MJ. In reality MJ has none of the crippling abuse potential as dose alcohol. Granted, MJ may produce a dependancy on its need and use but never the result alcohol precipitates. With all this in place, it is obvious the extremely harsh penalties associated with personal use be changed and the product be taxed, standardized and sold in state outlets such as liquor stores and enhance the coffers like those of Colorado, insteard of wasting untold millions of dollars on ineffective police action and search and destroy missions. This senario has already been tried and defeated in the roaring 20's when our mis-guided temperace ladies invoked the prohibition statutes that were Totally useless and only enhanced the crimnal element such as the "Capone" mobs that used alcohol as one of their financing tools . So wise up overy one....ESPECIALLY the ignorant legislators who turn a blind eye to this innocuous MONEY POT and CHANGE THE LAWS from the distant 65 years ago. I do not use MJ, but logic dictates the status quo is terribly wrong and needs update to 2014. RxJiMac/Atlanta
Jose Gonzales February 28, 2014 at 05:08 PM
If it's enacted Georgia will admit to the world that the past few decades have been a horrific lie.
electric123 February 28, 2014 at 11:20 PM
@ Sandy, and your point?
Jerry Frisch March 01, 2014 at 10:18 AM
They will likely make the one mistake that keeps the drug dealers in business: taxing the marijuana. The murders will continue.

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