Posted: 8:30 am Monday, March 31st, 2014

Gov. Deal etches a path toward legalizing medical marijuana 

By Greg Bluestein

Lawmakers from both chambers passed a bill allowing the limited use of medical marijuana, but it failed to gain final approval amid infighting.

Lawmakers from both chambers passed a bill allowing the limited use of medical marijuana, but it failed to gain final approval amid infighting.

Infighting between lawmakers scuttled the legislative push to allow the limited use of medical marijuana, but a path ahead is now becoming clearer.

We told you last week how Deal is exploring administrative action to allow families to use a form of cannabis oil to treat debilitating seizures, part of a strategy to take executive action where lawmakers failed. He elaborated on just what he’s considering at a campaign stop in Athens over the weekend.Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blog

The Athens Banner-Herald reported he said he was considering creating a state project under a college – perhaps the Georgia Regents University – to provide a scientific environment to start clinical trials, paving the way for legislation down the road. From the story:

“It’s important for us to understand that this is not an issue we want to open the floodgate on. It has to be done in a controlled environment,” Deal said. “If we can move it in that direction it will lay the foundation for us to do something legislatively in future sessions. That’s where we are trying to move.”

The governor elaborated on it this morning in an interview. He said one of the reasons he is exploring the academic option is because transporting marijuana across state lines is a felony federal offense, but the state could have more leeway to grow it at a research school. Georgia Regents also has long-standing agreements with state health agencies that could be leveraged.

“We think they would be a perfectly suited institution. They are a research institution, and as I explained on Saturday, I think this approach would be similar to having a clinical-type trial,” Deal said, adding: “They could validate, document and keep the records so we know whether what we’ve tried is actually working or not.”

State Rep. Allen Peake, the bill’s chief sponsor, told us he welcomed Deal’s strategy and was optimistic it would work.

“We just found hurdles in the academic environment that were going to require lengthy FDA approval that these children can’t wait on,” said Peake, R-Macon. “But possibly the power of the governor’s involvement may move the beaucracratic process a lot quicker.”

Whether Deal has the legal authority to do so is another question. Former Georgia Supreme Court Justice Leah Ward Sears told WABE that she thinks the governor needs to tread lightly or risk “invading the province of the Legislature.” Said Sears:

“He’d have to be very creative, but creative things often pass muster, maybe an experimental pilot project. There might be other things in other state laws that allow a governor to do something temporarily.”

***

The legal wrangling by Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs has caught the daughter of another Atlanta civil rights leader in its wake.

Andrea Young, the daughter of Andrew Young, has taken a leave of absence from the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the downtown attraction set to open on May 30. The Saporta Report links the decision to a dispute between the Andrew Young Foundation, which she runs, and the King Estate over claims that Young is infringing on the civil rights icon’s intellectual property rights.

Saporta caught up with Andrea Young, who offered this:

“I said to the board, because of allegations made by the King Estate against the Andrew Young Foundation and me as executive director, I felt I had no choice but to take a leave of absence from the Center’s board until the matter had been resolved to avoid any adverse impact on the Center,” Andrea Young said in a telephone interview.

***

Georgia politicians may not be fans of the Common Core education guidelines, but the state seems to be good at implementing them.

A recently released report from the Southern Regional Education Board named Georgia a “leading state” when it comes to embracing the controversial standards and gave it the highest marks in the categories of teaching resources and accountability.

Superintendent John Barge, a supporter of the standards and a challenger to Gov. Nathan Deal in the GOP primary, took it as a reason to celebrate:

“The implementation of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards has been embraced by our teachers, and kids are now being challenged at higher levels, which is critical for them to compete for jobs and spots in the colleges of their choice.”

***

In the Republican primary in the coastal First Congressional District, John McCallum already has the backing of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, McCallum’s former boss.

The 90s nostalgia will continue with a forthcoming endorsement from Bob Dole. The connection here is McCallum’s wife, Heather Whitestone McCallum, a former Miss America. Heather, who is hearing impaired, was the first Miss America with a disability.

Here’s what John McCallum told us Friday:

“Heather was a national surrogate for Dole when he ran for president and we were very actively involved. And we, by the grace of God really, on Election Day ’96 the Doles asked us to spend the day with them. … We were super fortunate to kind of have them take them under their wing when we were a young couple and befriend us and let us be a part of that thing.”

Keep an eye out for a deep dive on the First District primary later this week in the AJC.

***

In other endorsement news, the pro-gun group Georgia Carry is backing state Rep. Delvis Dutton of Glenville in the 12th District Republican primary. The winner of the GOP race faces U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta.

The quintet of Republicans in the 12th — Dutton, Rick Allen, Eugene Yu, John Stone and Diane Vann — will debate tonight in Bulloch County.

***

We told you recently about a video showing David Perdue saying “I’m not going to go up there and tell you I’m going to repeal Dodd-Frank. I will tell you I’m going to fight to amend it.”

This gave a clear opening to his GOP foes in the U.S. Senate race.

But speaking with Martha Zoller on WGAU (1340 AM) this morning, Perdue insisted he has always wanted to repeal Dodd-Frank:

“I don’t know where all that came from. Frankly, I’m the first one in the race, last year … what I kept saying a year ago, Dodd-Frank is just being implemented. As we sit here today, it’s only about 40 percent implemented, and yet we can begin to see how insidious this law is.

“I called for its repeal repeatedly over the last year. In the meantime I can’t sit back and just say, hey, let these small banks go out of business and dry up on the vine and let these small businesses starve to death for borrowing. We’ve got to do something to help get the money flowing.”

Perdue later went on to say he was “deathly afraid” of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created by Dodd-Frank, because Congress won’t control its purse strings.

90 comments
Baumer_1
Baumer_1

So what exactly does Perdue have against Dodd-Frank?  


Yeah...let those small banks go out of business.  You cried about people losing their homes, let these poorly managed businesses fail and don't bail them out. 


Perdue is forgetting that a majority of banking law is state law.  What, does he think small banks only exist in GA?  GA is just extremely under-regulated and nearly any moron can start a bank here.  


Same goes for small business.  Nationally, 10% of all businesses will fail in their first three years.  Why? Primarily because of incompetence.  Just because being your own boss is part of the American dream doesn't mean everyone is smart enough or competent enough to do and succeed. That is how markets work.  The weak get weeded out.


But, no! Perdue wants to subsidize these failing small businesses and blame owner incompetence on Dodd-Frank.  Easy money got us into a huge mess...and Perdue wants to go back.  Not everyone is cut out to be the boss...some of us are workers. If you want to help them out, join the Democratic party and support adult education programs and retraining programs.  Handing out money to people just because they have a small business is irresponsible and stupid.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

Stop using the phrase legal medical marijuana, Jim. This is not legal pot...the GA GOP is still as fascist as ever and want nothing more than to tell people what they can do in the privacy of their own homes.

This has all been a ploy to legalize one chemical found in the marijuana plant...not making marijuana legal in any way.  


Not like my neighbors to the north and south. Those freedom and liberty loving progressives get it. 



SteveCooper
SteveCooper

America how many? How many more families have to be torn apart? How many more children have to be exiled? How many more veterans have to continue to suffer? How many?
April 22, 2014 will be the 20th anniversary of the death of Richard Nixon. Is it not time we buried his prohibition?
I would rather bury his prohibition then have to continue watching us bury our children and veterans.
How many more America? How many?

A Freedom Fighter
A Freedom Fighter

With the CDC statistics below becoming common knowledge it is time for the next step in logic.  Why has our government been blatantly lying to us regarding cannabis?  Could it be that our corporate controlled government has been steering us away from marijuana and onto tobacco, booze and big pharma?     Is it because they can control and profit from these highly addictive and deadly serial killers?   As an American i think its time to remove corporate controlled politicians from our government and by law all corporate and wall street money from washington DC.  

Figures directly from the CDC dot gov web site on numbers of deaths per year in the USA.

*   Prescription Drugs: 237,485

*   Tobacco: 390,323

*   Alcohol: 39,199

*   Marijuana 0, none, not a single overdose death in all medical history

Cited direct from CDC dot gov. Stop the lies and Legalize! 

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….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

Deaths by Alcohol and Tobacco: Millions

Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade

Deaths by Guns: Millions

Deaths by the food we are fed: 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 

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

I think Jerry Brown (Governor of California) said it best.  "What happens to a state full of pot-heads?"

JonTomas
JonTomas

Governor Deal says:

>>>"“It’s important for us to understand that this is not an issue we want to open the floodgate on."



Presumably, Deal is referring to the "open floodgates" now in Colorado and Washington state - where re-legalizing marijuana has caused a huge crime wave, thousands of traffic accidents, and the population has forgotten about work, electing to stay home and watch Scooby-Doo reruns all day long - NOT.


Of course, the sky hasn't fallen in Colorado or Washington. Things are going just fine, and now gangs aren't supported by marijuana sales anymore. Police can concentrate on REAL crimes, and we have started to end the horribly un-American sub-class created by the millions of marijuana arrests.


Marijuana prohibition was a monstrous FRAUD when perpetrated by soon-to-be-out-of-work alcohol prohibition bureaucrat, Harry Anslinger, in 1937. He desperately wanted a new empire and no lie was too big to tell to get it.


In all its miserable 77 years, the counter-productive marijuana prohibition has never accomplished one positive thing. It has ONLY caused vast amounts of crime, violence, corruption, death, and the severe diminishment of EVERYONE'S freedom.


Thank goodness, Americans are waking up and are ending what was essentially, the American Inquisition!




QuestionMan
QuestionMan

Why when President Obama acts by executive order it is an "imperial presidency" but when Governor Deal does likewise it's OK?

A Freedom Fighter
A Freedom Fighter

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 and no notable statistical history of traffic accidents

So, which one is safer? 

All data quoted directly from the Center for Disease Control website.

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

undergroundbasement.
undergroundbasement.

For those that want to put legalization measures in front of legislators, start organizing mass smoke outs. Accept the possibility of arrest. Bring back the spirit of the 1960's. Start packing city parks with pro-legalization people, and guest speakers from NORML. Invite the media. If the right organizers were involved and promotion flyer print-outs were printed out in the 1,000's, and these events were held every month or every other month in a different location, it would advance the movement.


Put word out that no individual is to possess more than 1 average joint worth to keep any potential arrest from being a misdemeanor. These events would grab the attention of the state legislators and these events would GROW in number. How would the average police dept deal with a gathering of 3,000 people who all have herb ? They don't have the manpower nor the jail space. When the media started showcasing these events, they would catch on in other backward states that have no legalization form at all. Also, for the anti-legalization posters I see on this board, tell me this, what are Georgia law enforcement going to do when the rest of the states outside the backward south all have recreational legalization and GA residents are burning up I-75 bringing back herb that was bought in a legal state as well as how will they stop all the cargo trucks shipping it into Georgia from the legal states by black market dealers ? All I can say is the day is coming in the next few years when that's going to be a reality. Will the legislators start raising taxes to build new jails and prisons to house all of the increased thousands of monthly herb arrests ? Legalization is going to happen before this decade is OVER and it will be 50 states-wide, like it or not.


There are too many fighting for it. I get so sick of seeing that anti-legalization rhetoric that legalization of herb will cause a mass dependence on govt assistance. In 2010 alone, the Feds spent over $15 billion on the drug war. Not only does herb need to be legal, but ALL drugs do. Between 1910 and 1920, during a time when one could buy cocaine, heroin and indica oil in US pharmacies, the US had an overall economic growth of 27%. Societal problems started happening AFTER the implementation of drug laws, not before. The waste of tax funds is sickening. Portugal for example, radically scaled back their drug law enforcement to decriminalization since 2000, and overall drug use is down by half. Drug laws do the exact opposite of what their advocates claim. Anyway, by the next decade , chemical engineers like Lee Cronin will have perfected 3D chemical drug printers and EVERYONE will have the ability to be their own pharmaceutical drug manufacturer within their own house. There's no way the govt or law enforcement will be able to stop that technology when it hits the market. Drug laws are going out the window in another 10 years, watch and see. Lol.

Kamchak
Kamchak

WOW, EduKationless boy is sock-puppeting again

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

"Deal shared ideas of a possible strategy to implement medical marijuana. This includes creating a state project under an institution, such as Georgia Regents University, to provide a scientific and hospital centered environment to monitor marijuana’s uses and enlist individuals in clinical trials. Results of the clinical trials would be reported to the public and used to help the state make logical judgments on the topic in the future."

deal, as usual is dissembling, if not outright lying. He realizes the hurdles to performing research in this area, hurdles placed predominantly by the DEA. deal failed to offer any support for the bill, which could have meant its passage, and is now trying to appease those in favor of it by claiming he can just turn it over to the Universities, which is dissembling. You just don't decide one day you're going to do cannabis research, go out and buy some mj, and start the study.

***********

http://www.standard.net/stories/2014/03/22/medical-marijuana-research-hampered-federal-rules

But scientists say they are frustrated that the federal government has not made any efforts to speed the process of research. Over the years, the Drug Enforcement Agency has turned down several petitions to reclassify cannabis, reiterating its position that it has no accepted medical use and remains a dangerous drug. The DEA has said that there is a lack of safety data and that the drug has a high potential for abuse.


There is a desperate need for this research, but it's impossible to study this drug properly in an atmosphere of prohibition," a researcher said.


Orrin Devinsky, director of the epilepsy center at New York University's Langone Medical Center, said many would-be marijuana researchers are driven to abandon projects after they discover how time-consuming and expensive it can be to obtain the drug.


There are now 156 active researchers who are approved by the DEA to study marijuana -- a number that has remained steady in recent years -- but scientists say most are government-funded and focus on the ill effects of smoking marijuana rather than potential medicines.

********************

So the DEA, a group of jack-booted thugs whose only claim to fame is their ability to mimic the gestapo, are charged with approving studies dealing with this plant. With their training in kicking in doors  busting heads, and violating inalientable rights,we now assign them the veto power over legitimate medical studies that will prove as beneficial, the drug they have violated every one of our constitutional rights to eradicate. 

Congratulations cons, you've once again proven your backward azz, 18th century thinking will continue to hamper progress, the same way your trickle down economic policies, your laissez faire capitalism, and human rights policies have hampered us.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

"– to provide a scientific environment to start clinical trials, paving the way for legislation down the road.""“They could validate, document and keep the records so we know whether what we’ve tried is actually working or not.”"

What? The testing done by other states is not enough? Is research in Georgia different because our "science" is different"

" “He’d have to be very creative,.."

Like on more welfare bashing, trickle down economics, guns, abortion, underfunding transportation and DFACS etc. legislation?

honested
honested

Dodd-Frank insidious?


Can't have financial institutions living up to their fiduciary responsibilities, that would be Socialist!

td1234
td1234

@QuestionMan  Because the roles of the executive as far as domestic policy in the Federal government is clearly defined while in the state government is not as clear. 


td1234
td1234

@A Freedom Fighter  Well there has already been several deaths in CO contributed to driving while high so I think you need to recalculate your stats. 


As far as the harm from Cannabis: It has clearly been documented that long term use causes decreased cognitive abilities and since there has been no studies done on it since it is a schedule drug is just being intellectually dishonest. 

Ronin7
Ronin7

@A Freedom Fighter  Doctors are beginning to see the value of drug.  It's ridiculous that it is still a schedule 1 drug.



Ronin7
Ronin7

@BrianKelly  For the reason you mentioned and more marijuana prohibition would allow more effective options for cancer treatments and improve the quality of life for very ill people.  Take the politics out of the decision and do the right thing for the people that will benefit from the treatment and not risk going to jail because they want to ease their pain without frying the liver with Lortab.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@undergroundbasement.  No need to get prosecuted for an arrest at a smoke-out.  Pack your joints with parsley so when the results come back from the crime lab....no THC!

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@blah blah blah  Just sayin' .... neocons constantly advocate 'less government' but feel that the government should be able to jail you for touching a plant.


The Bush administration even tried to outlaw hemp foods, despite the fact that they contain no measurable THC.  How's that for 'limited government'?


Read my lips...no new taxes...LOL

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@blah blah blah Unlike the incisive, informative, intelligent comments such as the one you just posted.  I'll bet the sperm banks are lined up begging for your genius DNA.

Ronin7
Ronin7

@AuntieChrist   Have you heard anything further about the ability of the President to reclassify  the drug as as schedule 2, 3 or 4 drug by executive order?  I heard that mentioned a few weeks ago but nothing further.  That would give medical professionals the option to write prescriptions as a controlled substance that would require detailed record keeping to determine what was being used.   

honested
honested

@td1234 @QuestionMan 

Well what is clear is that the executive in Georgia State Government clearly is not open to definition, or action.

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@td1234 @A Freedom Fighter  Fatal Wrecks in Colorado have gone down since legalization.  You are full of lies.  


"Results indicated no significant effect of cannabis use on global neurocognitive performance or any effect on the eight assessed domains.  Furthermore, there was no evidence for enduring negative effects of cannabis use."



Source: Addiction Volume 106, Issue 12

honested
honested

@td1234 @A Freedom Fighter 

Also, can I suggest the studies that how addiction to 'religion' demonstrates the same impairment of cognitive abilities?

KevinHunt
KevinHunt

@honested @RoadScholar  The good thing about medical marijuana is that the poor can afford it.  Pop some seeds of a high-CBD strain into a pot and wait 3 months.

td1234
td1234

@honested So why are you a disciple of the Religion of Secular Humanism?  

td1234
td1234

@honested


Capping tax rates allows citizens to make future plans on disposable income to spend to that creates work.


No expansion of entitlements forces people to actually have to take jobs which puts more money into the economy. 


Anything else? 

honested
honested

@td1234 @honested 

Or in short, accomplishments that work on the 'believe' side but do nothing on the 'work' side.

td1234
td1234

@honested Not creating more excessive regulatory burdens or no higher taxes are HUGE accomplishments. Add to it:


1: Constitutional Amendment to cap the income tax.


2: More second Amendment freedoms


3: No expansion of entitlements. 


You have an almost perfect session.    

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

@Kamchak ha self-employed?  You're living off your wife's salary.  I bet she wins all the arguments.

Kamchak
Kamchak

With this sort of effort it's no wonder why you're unemployed 

Self-employed for thirty-years sport. but thanks for playing and see Vanna on YOUR way out for some lovely consolation gifts including a lifetime supply of Rice-A-Roni, The San Francisco Treat!

honested
honested

@blah blah blah @Kamchak 

Is it that painful to reflect on the absence of accomplishment of the recently concluded and con-controlled General Assembly session?

I guess they now understand, Governance requires more than thumping one's chest and hollering 'I'm Most Conserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvative'.

 

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

@Kamchak posted lots of substance today sport

1.Daily whine about the liberal AJC bias in 3...2...1....

2.Does that rationale and reasoning somehow escape you?

uh...huh 

3.The moment you are[sic] your socialist friends...

Talk about your burned out brains....

Someone get this boy some "smelling sauce", stat!

4.come on auntie you know your[sic] a closest CON

EduKationless boy proves  himself again.

LOL!

5. WOW, EduKationless boy is sock-puppeting again

With this sort of effort it's no wonder why you're unemployed

Kamchak
Kamchak

come on auntie you know your[sic] a closest CON

EduKationless boy proves  himself again.

LOL!

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@blah blah blah @AuntieChrist   "your a closest CON"

As I said, a real intellectual giant posting here. 'Your' for "you're," and who the hell knows what a 'closest' con is, I guess I'll have to consult one of the voices in blah blah's head for the answer to that one.

Trackbacks

  1. […] elaborated on the plan in a Monday morning interview, reports Greg Bluestein at the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Governor said one of the reasons he’s exploring using academic centers to grow cannabis […]

  2. […] governor has said he is considering a state project under a college – maybe the Georgia Regents University – to provide a scientific […]

  3. […] Gov. Deal etches a path towards legalizing healthcare marijuana He mentioned one of the causes he is exploring the academic alternative is simply because transporting marijuana across state lines is a felony federal offense, but the state could have a lot more leeway to expand it at a research school. Georgia Regents also has extended … Go through more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (site) […]