Medical Cannabis Bill Approved by Georgia Senate Committee, Heads to Full Senate

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(APN) ATLANTA — The Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved an amended HB 885 the Medical Marijuana bill a/k/a Haleigh’s Hope Act.

The amended bill grants immunity from prosecution in Georgia for possession of CBD oil that people  may buy in a state, like Colorado, that legally sells CBD oil.   But transporting it across state lines is a federal crime.  So parents, with children who have uncontrolled seizures, will run the risk of becoming criminals when they cross state lines with the medicine that helps control their child’s seizures.

The Senate Committee version eliminated a provision that had been in the House version, which allowed Georgia academic research institutions to cultivate the drug and manufacture the derivatives.  

Rep. Peake’s proposal to add two nonprofit medical dispensaries was also rejected by the Senate Health Committee.  Thus, making it impossible for patients to access medical CBD oil in Georgia.  

Chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Renee Unterman (R-Buford) attached her bill SB 397 mandating insurance coverage for treatment of autism on to HB 885.  She renamed the bill “Kids Care Act.”   

Earlier, Sen. Unterman admitted to Channel 2 that she was holding up (HB 855) until the House made progress on her bill SB 397.   I guess the House did not make progress fast enough, now both bills will either pass together or both will die.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter spoke on behalf of the District Attorney’s Association and helped write the immunity clause in the bill.  The Georgia Sheriffs Association also supports the bill.

“They are encouraging violation of federal law.  If you can mail it [CBD oil]  by United Parcel Post (UPS) or drive it in by car, then once you get it into the state of Georgia it will be legal,” James Bell, Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform & Education (CARE) told APN.

“They set a limit of two percent THC maximum and five percent CBD minimum content  to describe what the medicine should look like,” Bell said.  

Jenea Cox, mother of 4 year old Haleigh Cox, plans to move to Colorado with her daughter, rather than break the law.  

The Georgia Composite Medical Board will oversee the use of medicinal marijuana, in oil or pill form, once it is smuggled into the state illegally, it can be used legally.  

The Senate Rules Cmte approved a full Senate vote on the bill, which is set to take place on Tuesday, March 18, or Thursday March 20, 2014, the last two days of the Session.

(END/2014)

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