Medical Cannabis Oil Bill Headed to Gov. Deal’s Desk
Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order on Friday, March 27, directing state agencies to begin preparing for the law.
Deal plans to sign the bill after the session to ensure that no conflicts arise with the legislation.
The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), will provide immunity from prosecution in Georgia, for those with qualifying conditions, who use the cannabis oil.
Those medical conditions are Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Seizure disorders, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Mitochondrial disease, and Sickle Cell disease.
Fibromyalgia was initially on the list of medical disorders, but State Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) deleted it. Fibromyalgia is unending chronic pain, with headaches, sleep disorder, daytime fatigue, and morning stiffness.
This reporter personally had a friend with fibromyalgia who committed suicide because of the pain.
The qualifying process for potential patients includes getting a recommendation from a doctor, then registering with the Georgia Department of Public Health and being placed on the low THC oil patient registry.
If approved, the individual will receive a registration card that exempts them from prosecution for possession of cannabis oil with a maximum of five percent THC and a maximum amount of 20 ounces of the oil.
To possess over 20 ounces per individual is a felony.
The bill also creates the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis, which must make a recommendation to the Governor and General Assembly by December 31, 2015, regarding the creation of in-state growth and distribution of medical cannabis.
As reported earlier by APN, the bill, “does not provide for the growth and production of the product in Georgia. It says that if you can smuggle it from another state into Georgia, you will have immunity from prosecution,” per James Bell, Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform and Education (CARE).
As soon as the Governor signs the bill into law, the medical refugees, who left Georgia to save their childrens’ lives to receive medical cannabis in others states, can come home.
“I look forward to seeing these Georgians return to this state and reunite with their families, friends, loved ones, and support networks, all without living in fear of prosecution,” Rep. Peake said in a press release.
Jenea Cox, whose daughter was the inspiration for HB 1, has come home to Forsyth, Georgia.
“Now my husband can see Haleigh whenever he wants, not just one week out of two months. We get to be a family again,” Cox told WMAS television news in Macon, Georgia.
In the Senate, the six senators voting against HB 1 are State Sens. Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge), Bill Heath (R-Breman), Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome), William Ligon (R-Brunswick), David Shafer (R-Duluth) and Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta).
The only representative in the House voting against HB 1 was State Rep. Stephen Allison (R-Blairsville).