Posted: 3:01 pm Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Georgia Senate passes medical marijuana bill 

By AJC news

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By Kristina Torres

The Georgia Senate on Thursday unanimously approved limited use of medical marijuana in Georgia, sending the legislation back to the state House with expectations of extended negotiations.

House Bill 885, by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, includes a separate mandate added by the Senate that would require health insurance policies sold in Georgia to cover behavioral therapy for children 6 and under who have been diagnosed with autism. The move could complicate passage for what Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, has dubbed the “Kids Care Act.”

The bill otherwise would provide immunity from prosecution to anyone who is in possession of the particular cannabis oil the bill wants to make legal. That would clear the way for patients and their parents to travel outside of Georgia to find a supply, most likely in Colorado because it allows the oil’s use in limited amounts.

HB 885 is designed to allow Georgia families to use cannabis oil to treat certain seizure disorders in both children and adults, afflictions that can cause hundreds of seizures a day and often lead to death. The oil is harvested from the marijuana plant but does not create the high that recreational use of marijuana produces.

Peake said he’s no fan of the autism mandate, which he said imposes new requirements on businesses. He doesn’t think the addition will kill his proposal, but he said he hopes it can be tacked on to a separate piece of legislation.

Supporters of the bill include the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia and the Medical Association of Georgia, the state’s largest professional group of physicians.

The Senate voted 54-0 to pass HB 885.

16 comments
undergroundbasement.
undergroundbasement.

The south is PACKED with old fashioned paranoia among it's older people and it's on both sides of the political spectrum. I think it's more of an age thing with strong backward religious beliefs mixed in. I think the power lies in the hands of the younger southern population. The one's that are 30 yrs and under. These are the one's more prone to voting for legalization. The downside to this is there aren't many politicians that are young like that.Voting them out I don't see working because they will be replaced with just more of the same anti-legalization politicians. It's going to take HARD PRESSURE, as in massive civil disobedience.

Most politicians tend to be around 50 and up, and most people more prone to getting out and putting effort into  voting tend to be in that same age bracket, especially the elderly. On election days, there tend to be more older folks that come out to vote than younger ones and since most older folks are against legalization, things end up remaining the same. I think it's going to take civil disobedience, similar to what the south seen in the 1960's with sit-ins and marches for legalization to happen. Example, mass public smoke outs where hundreds of college age people meet in southern parks with guest speakers and microphones and stages, putting out internet invitations for everyone and inviting the media. There is power in numbers. If something like this could become a trend, it would garner attention and it would grow in power and it would bring change. I see the drug war a lot like the civil rights issues of the 1960's. People broke the law in the 60's with civil disobedience and even went to jail for what they believed in, and the laws were changed by their actions. I think this same strategy would work for marijuana legalization. Mass public smoke outs could start happening once a month, every time in a different location, internet notices could go out in advance, it might only be 100 people at first but once the trend caught on, numbers would start reaching into the THOUSANDS. Believe me, this would be noticed by the legislators. 

If you had multiple smoke out events for advocating legalization, it would even be better. Could you imagine all on the same day, a multi-city smoke out ? ...with 2,000 college kids in Savannah, 2,000 in Columbus , 2,000 in Macon , and 2,000 in Atlanta ? And the media was at every event ? This trend would shake the legislators to their core, and even cause massive problems with law enforcement. THIS is radicalism but this would be the same spirit of the 1960's that got unconstitutional laws changed. It would come with sacrifice but it would eventually work. If all of the pro-legalization crowd would like to see recreational legalization and see it happen rather fast, this would be a surefire way to make it happen. It might take a few months before it snowballed but it would snowball and it would result in fast-tracking progress. 


ImmortalIllumined
ImmortalIllumined

the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13


"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420


from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new


20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….my turn, I gave you 20 years, watch and learn


Deaths by Alcohol and Tobacco:  Millions

Deaths by Prescription Drugs:  Quadrupled in last decade

Deaths by Guns: Millions

Deaths by Marijuana:  0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom


love and freedom forever


AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS!!!33 

BrianKelly
BrianKelly


When a loved one is in pain, wasting away unable to eat, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let's have the compassion to allow them to have it.


Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.


Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.


Support Medical Marijuana Now!


"[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane." — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, "Federal Foolishness and Marijuana," editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997


"[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications." — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001


"[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate." — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998


"Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision." — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003


"The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses' Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine." — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995


"[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use." — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, "Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis," 1995


"When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug." — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

CharlotteJohnson
CharlotteJohnson

The cure for all of the comments that are being posted :  VOTE THEM OUT !!!!!! Never have understood why people keep voting in politicians that do not vote for what the citizens of GA and the US want to happen.....until that happens all of the "comments" and complaints wont help.....

undergroundbasement.
undergroundbasement.

What a weak and insulting bill that is. First , someone would I assume, have to have seizures and a documented medical history of suffering from them. 2nd, would they then have to get some GA doctor's written and registered approval just to possess the oil ?  ... and THEN , it's up to them to travel some 1400 miles for example to Denver, then 1400 miles back , going thru Kansas , Missouri , Illinois , Kentucky, Tennessee , then into Georgia ? That's one heck of a potentially illegal road trip. They could fly from ATL to DEN , but TSA at the Denver Airport in the beginning of January already said they will confiscate and fine anyone caught trying to fly out any marijuana product. On top of that, there is a limit to how much an out-of-state resident can purchase in Colorado and prices are EXPENSIVE now in Colorado. This GA MMJ oil bill is a slap in the face. Especially considering that GA has had a non-functional and basically symbolic MMJ bill on the books since 1980 ! of all things.I bet you anything that there will be some that start growing their own and treating their self , even though the law forbids it. It's not good enough and these GA legislators will see soon enough when other states closer to the south begin to legalize for recreational use, their residents will begin traveling to those legalized states and bringing it back. What will the legislators do then when 30 something states have recreational legalization and the deep south still outlaws even possessing bud for MMJ use ? The southern courts are going to see marijuana possession cases skyrocket to never before seen numbers. Maybe then, the legislators will realize its time to pass full-on legalization. They'll see, give it 2 or 3 more years. This is exactly how it's going to play out.

A Freedom Fighter
A Freedom Fighter

Time to play "Which one is safer?"

- Prescription drugs  KILL over 265,000 in the US annually

- Alcohol  KILLS over 40,000 in the US annually + 16,000 traffic death

- Tobacco  KILLS over 390,000 in the US annually

- Cannabis  KILLS 0, none, nada, not a single overdose death in all medical history

So, which one is safer? 

To respond use our app from the Apple store or Google play!

All data quoted directly from the Center for Disease Control website.   Employees of  "Which one is safer?" and their family members are not eligible for prizes.   The  "Which one is safer?" home game now available in fine  stores!   

revraygreen
revraygreen

That would clear the way for patients and their parents to travel outside of Georgia to find a supply, most likely in Colorado because it allows the oil’s use in limited amounts."- according to Colorado and Federal law that is a crime

Lynn43
Lynn43

What good is making any medicine legal if your insurance will not help pay for it?  I have a medication United Health Care helped paid for, but this new governor endorsed BCBS will not even help with it.  Many, many others in the state health care insurance is having the same problem.  Governor Deal, I want my United Health Care back.  Will these people have help from their insurance companies to pay for the oil?  They won't if they have state health insurance.

tomkat1111
tomkat1111

This bill keeps all other forms of marijuana illegal. It only benefits the company that has the patent on it and will be expensive since they have a monopoly.

farmeral
farmeral

This is leadership at it's best. We'll look the other way if you can get it here but you'll be arrested if you produce it or purchase it here.


Parent12
Parent12

Strip the bad autism/ABA bill and pass it. Georgia already has an Autism mandate. Giving a $35K check yearly to ABA providers for each child under the age of 6 while taking away services for those age 7-18 is wrong.

mntj
mntj

Sadly, this bill won't have the positive effects samhose mentioned because the legislature did not see fit to legalize cultivation of the plant or the creation of cannabis oil. So Georgia is removing the penalty for committing a federal crime (importing cannabis oil into Georgia from Colorado) while keeping the penalty for a state crime (cultivation of cannabis). Amazing, though ultimately not surprising given the political tilt of the politicians in question.

samhose
samhose

This was also a wise business move. New markets and jobs will be created as we begin to grow and manufacture our own products, develop research....we have sun, soil, farmers....

ChipShirley
ChipShirley

For the good of the General Public It is crazy to set the standard for legalizing any drug for medical use without consideration of the consequences of NOT legalizing it.

If Dr.s could use Marijuana, Coca and Poppy to treat drug addicts it would eliminate most criminal activity in the US. It would save countless innocent lives of people caught in the crossfire of the senseless Drug War.
These drugs do have other medical uses too, but the best thing about legalizing them (as is the case with tobacco and alcohol) is that it stops the cancer of the black market in drugs from destroying society in countless ways.
http://DrugLawZ.blogspot.com/

GA4LIFE
GA4LIFE

@Parent12 What? Which mandate are you speaking of? One that mandates we do nothing for the Autistic? My name is Brian Clemens and I live at 1040 Chantilly Drive in  Alpharetta,GA.  Identify yourself and provide evidence for this ignorant statement. This is the weakest Autism Bill in the country; without a doubt, but it is all we got.  Don't make up lies.

BlackandRed
BlackandRed

@mntj  baby steps. The lege members knows this has to be expanded. It was a miracle it was introduced and passed by both houses. That almost never happens, especially on the back end of the biennial session.


This summer, ask your candidates about cannabis, and their position on the prohibition model.