Posted: 6:00 am Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Medical marijuana changes on tap today 

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.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s staff has quietly worked on a plan to allow the limited use of medical marijuana since lawmakers scuttled a legislative push to do so last month. He is ready to unveil that proposal later today.

Deal will hold a press conference this afternoon to outline his plan that could allow some families to use a form of cannabis oil to treat debilitating seizures. He also will discuss a separate idea to create a pilot program to start privatizing the foster care system.

Both are part of a larger strategy of taking executive action where lawmakers failed. It’s led to criticism from political rivals and questions from legal experts about whether the governor is overstepping his authority. But Deal’s camp sees advantages to taking this route.

The governor has said he is considering a state project under a college – maybe the Georgia Regents University – to provide a scientific environment to start clinical trials. That could create a controlled environment to study the medical marijuana and lay the groundwork for legislation next year.

Deal told us at a stop in east Georgia last week that his office has had conversations with federal authorities about how to avoid transporting marijuana across state lines, a federal offense. The academic option could inoculate that threat, and Georgia Regents has long-standing agreements with state health agencies that could be used.

“This approach would be similar to having a clinical-type trial,” Deal said in that interview, adding that the university is “perfectly suited” for the studies. “They could validate, document and keep the records so we know whether what we’ve tried is actually working or not.”

Deal has also said he wanted to explore a pilot program to start privatizing some child welfare services, and tapped a commission last week that could oversee the program. That legislation gained momentum after the AJC uncovered lapses in the child safety net system in the months before the legislative session started.

Both pieces of legislation were victims of feuding between powerful lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House and Senate chambers in the final hours of the legislative session.

Senate leaders refused to pass the medical marijuana legislation unless House lawmakers approved a separate push to require insurance plans to provide autism coverage for children that was unpopular with several powerbrokers. And the privatization push failed when lawmakers couldn’t decide on competing plans over who would oversee the pilot program.

110 comments
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: Millions
Deaths by 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

A Freedom Fighter
A Freedom Fighter

Which one is safer?

- Prescription drugs  KILL over 265,000 in the US annually + 5,500 traffic deaths

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

- 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 real statistical history of traffic accidents

So, which one is safer? 

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

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

Stoner Gonzales

You missed a few....

Cannabis Cures Erectile Disfunction

Cannabis Cures Late Night Ugly Women Syndrome

Cannabis Cures Aspirations, Goals and Motivation

Cannabis Cures Retardation ( Oops, you have proven that to be wrong)

JoseGonzales
JoseGonzales

If you want to understand why big Pharma wants to keep marijuana illegal, read below.


JamesBellVideo
JamesBellVideo

Current law allows cannabis for treatment of cancer and glaucoma. Where is the medicine for that? We need whole plant therapeutics, not limited compounds.  

michaelbshapiro
michaelbshapiro

Hhmmm, if the President did this the other party would be screaming from the rafters about Executive Orders....

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

Jose "Cheech" Gonzales

Medical marijuana has plenty of support because of the medical benefits to patients. Legalizing weed for you stoners just ain't in the cards in Georgia, so move on to more important issues like GOVERNING.

JoseGonzales
JoseGonzales

Start calling politicians running for federal office to remove marijuana from Schedule I.  Don't let them get away with their talking point state issue lie. 

Remember budget hawk Ryan who said marijuana was a state issue and then voted to send federal money to shut down marijuana dispensaries in California?  His claim was a misuse of dispensing marijuana but conveniently ignored the misuse at the mammoth drug stores at every corner selling harmful drugs.

AnitaLong
AnitaLong

medical marijuana can help so many people suffering from so many things like bi-polar and insomnis and cancer patients the list goes on and on i totally support legalizing marijuana 

JerryInMarietta
JerryInMarietta

So I have a question..


Is it possible for the Governor to call the legislature back into emergency session to address this bill? 

honested
honested

It would be much simpler for the US House (you know the one controlled by chest thumping, small government, freedom lovers) and Senate to request an Executive Order to reopen research in cannabis derivatives and simplify legitimate access to testing samples.


BOOM the entire 80 year prohibition placing superstition over reason would end.


Just think of what life would be like if we had pursued the same idiotic prohibition of research into elm bark?

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: Millions
Deaths by 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

AllyanaZiolko
AllyanaZiolko

We can give marijuana to kids with seizures but not give Medicare to all the rest in need. Go figure.

JerryInMarietta
JerryInMarietta

I hope Deal's plan is more than just political theatre.  We'll see.  Results are what matter, not words.  Words are cheap.


People need to get educated, not just echo what they have heard.  Calling a Medical MJ user a pot head is uninformed, to say the least.


Medical Cannabis is NOT just one cannabinoid,Cannabidiol (CBD).  It's a mixture of everything the plant has to offer.  These NUMEROUS cannabinoids act in symphony to give the medical benefits.  The cannabinoid THC is actually a great pain reliever.  By itself THC can get you high.  Research out of Israel (going on for over 40 years to discover the benefits of MMJ) proves that extracting just one cannabinoid is less effective than keeping all the cannabinoids.  Medical research facilities in England are using the Israeli research and are engineering MMJ with high CBD content. 


High CBD and low THC cannabis is typically called Medical Cannabis.  BTW, the CBD negates the "high" effects of the THC.  With Medical Cannabis you won't necessarily get HIGH, but you will see pain relief. 

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

require insurance plans to provide autism coverage for children that was unpopular with several powerbrokers. And the privatization push failed when lawmakers couldn’t decide on competing plans over who would oversee the pilot program."


I want the power to decide things. (because it can benefit my friends)

NO, *I* want the power to decide things. (because people paid me to help them out)

But you don't even know anything about it like me  (and my friends who could REALLY benefit)

Well, if *I* don't get *MY* way you won't get *YOUR* way. (because my friends would rather hurt everyone if they do not benefit.) 


JoseGonzales
JoseGonzales

Not a single Democrat governor supports marijuana legalization.  Why trade one tyrant for another when the Democrat tyrant wants to take your gun?

A Freedom Fighter
A Freedom Fighter

@PoliticalOutsider  I am 58 and have been using cannabis for 41 years. I'm a husband, father, electronics engineer, community volunteer and successful business owner.  I vaporize cannabis (no smoke, no smell, no problems).  I am in excellent health and I run 15-20 miles per week.  I am just the tip of a very large iceberg!  Critical mass has been reached!  According to the CDC web site no one has ever died from cannabis intoxication in all medical history. How long do we have to suffer the lies and ridiculous nonsense from a government whose own studies have shown cannabis all but completely harmless by comparison to  prescription drugs, tobacco and booze will directly kill over 650,000 people per year.  Stop the lies and Legalize! 

JoseGonzales
JoseGonzales

@JamesBellVideo Federal law prohibits medical research on marijuana under Schedule I.  Many states have nullified federal law, mostly under voter initiatives that is forbidden in Georgia where the government is top-down.

Politicians in the federal government have been avoiding the marijuana issue by saying it is a states' issue while completely ignoring Schedule I classification is a federal issue.


ChasHolman
ChasHolman

@michaelbshapiro  Historical footnote.. Against his own advisers and what science knew at the time, Nixon, by 'executive order', created both the DEA and the Scheduling of marijuana as more dangerous than meth and cocaine. 


Everything else has changed so much, except there are still forces of greed and evil and those who hate liberty and rights, fighting 'Nixon's all out domestic war' quite in earnest.. Scary,. 

JoseGonzales
JoseGonzales

@michaelbshapiro The loudest screams would come from Senators like Grassley who need to protect corn ethanol in Iowa from hemp ethanol.

JonTomas
JonTomas

@PoliticalOutsider - Your ancestors were obviously the ones who insisted the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it.

Colorado and Washington state have shown us the near future.  It's one where we no longer persecute millions of good Americans who prefer non-addictive, near harmless marijuana over addictive, very harmful alcohol.

JoseGonzales
JoseGonzales

@PoliticalOutsider  Do you sleep well at night taking advantage of sick people by putting up red tape that can only be broken through by paying lots of money to your CARE scam?

JonTomas
JonTomas

@JoseGonzales -  Marijuana needs to be removed from the schedule altogether.  If alcohol and tobacco aren't on it, near harmless marijuana should be FAR away from the thing.

td1234
td1234

@honested  


Bedwetting Ed, 


You can not be both a fiscal conservative and socially liberal. Someone has to pay for people and their children when they chose to make bad decisions. 

JerryInMarietta
JerryInMarietta

@honested

I asked my Fed Rep (Tom Price) to address it in congress.  He adamantly refused and said it was a state issue.  He even restated that in a town hall conference call.  What a moron. He won't get my vote.

DontTread
DontTread

@ImmortalIllumined  Darwin Award winners while high on marijuana:  plenty.  I'll support legalization for the simple fact that it will help rid us of stupid people.

td1234
td1234

@ImmortalIllumined  Hate to break the news to you but there is nothing the Governor is considering that will make pot legal. 

JoseGonzales
JoseGonzales

@LogicalDude It was essentially a filibuster approved by Renee's colleagues as a tactic to avoid passing the bill.

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

Jose

It is your mentality that has destroyed the Republican Party. Put down your bong long enough to realize NOBODY is going to take your gun. Paranoia is a result of prolonged drug use. Your guns are safe.

The GOP needs to understand the is a lot more to governing than screening more guns, more Jesus, more tax breaks for Gulfstream and Coca Cola.

MoFaux
MoFaux

@td1234 @honested What bad decision would that be?  So, being for gay marriage or legalized pot means you can't be fiscally conservative?  How, exactly?  Getting additional revenue from gay marriage licenses and marijuana taxes sure sounds fiscally conservative to me.

JerryInMarietta
JerryInMarietta

@td1234 @ImmortalIllumined , Yea and that's sad.  BUT at least it's a first step.


Remember back in 1937 when the feds decided to make POT illegal, the medical form as a tincture was on the shelves of every pharmacy in America as a pain killer.  The AMA actually opposed making it illegal. 


We will need change in Georgia.  The legislature retired early to campaign.  Well, I say we bring the issue to them.  Expose the hypocrisy and lies.  Make the public aware of just how informed our legislators are.  We really don't want a bunch of legislators representing us who are too PC to research a bill they are voting on.

JoseGonzales
JoseGonzales

@PoliticalOutsider It is Nixon who destroyed the Republican Party by putting politics and ideology over science and evidence when he ignored his own commission's recommendation to legalize marijuana.

The GOP is being run by right-wing talk shows who get better ratings when the GOP is beaten down.

JoseGonzales
JoseGonzales

@MoFaux @td1234@honested Lifestyle prohibition belongs more with a nanny state government than a limited one that cherishes individual liberty and freedom.

ZacharyTurgeon
ZacharyTurgeon

@DontTread @MoFaux @ImmortalIllumined  

People have been driving high for a long time, @DontTread. People drive while drunk, too. Guess which causes far and away the most deaths of the two.


Marijuana is a harmless substance in that it will do no long-term damage to a healthy adult brain. We cannot follow every single person around to make sure they don't get high and drive, just like we can't shadow everyone who drinks to make sure they don't drink and drive. 


With that said, what exactly do you think this study shows? That people make poor decisions? Yes, it does show that. People make horrible decisions everyday. I wouldn't recommend driving while impaired, but if I had to say which was the safer option to use and then go drive, I'd assuredly say it's cannabis. If you were a regular cannabis user, you would no doubt agree.

Stop forming your opinions based on anti-scientific, anti-marijuana rhetoric. Think critically and make up your own mind.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Medical marijuana changes could be on tap todayAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The governor has said he is considering a state project under a college – maybe the Georgia Regents University – to provide a scientific environment to start clinical trials. That could create a controlled environment to study the medical marijuana and …   read more […]

  2. […] for weeks after medical marijuana legislation failed to pass amid GOP infighting. You can find the backstory here, but Deal said he was confident from conversations with the Federal Drug Administration that both […]

  3. […] Medical marijuana changes on tap today The governor has said he is considering a state project under a college – maybe the Georgia Regents University – to provide a scientific environment to start clinical trials. That could create a controlled environment to study the medical marijuana and … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  4. […] Medical marijuana changes on tap today – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  5. […] Gov. Nathan Deal is exploring options to provide CBD to patients who were let down by the legislature’s inability to pass a […]

  6. […] Medical marijuana changes on tap today The governor has said he is considering a state project under a college – maybe the Georgia Regents University – to provide a scientific environment to start clinical trials. That could create a controlled environment to study the medical marijuana and … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  7. […] Medical marijuana changes on tap today The governor has said he is considering a state project under a college – maybe the Georgia Regents University – to provide a scientific environment to start clinical trials. That could create a controlled environment to study the medical marijuana and … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  8. […] Medical marijuana changes on tap today | Political Insider … http://politics.blog.ajc.com/Lawmakers from both chambers passed a bill allowing the limited use of medical marijuana, but it failed to gain final approval amid infighting. Gov. Nathan Deal's staff has quietly worked on a plan to allow the limited use of … […]