Medical Marijuana Bill Rolls Through House Committee

Medical marijuana in oil or pill form would be allowed for some ailments under a bill approved by a Georgia House subcommittee.

Medical marijuana in oil or pill form would be allowed for some ailments under a bill approved by a Georgia House subcommittee. Credit: File|Patch
Medical marijuana in oil or pill form would be allowed for some ailments under a bill approved by a Georgia House subcommittee. Credit: File|Patch

Medical marijuana could be grown and used in Georgia to treat patients with cancer, glaucoma and seizure disorders under a bill approved Wednesday by a House panel.

Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), sponsored Haleigh’s Hope Act after learning of 4-year-old Haleigh Cox of Monroe County, who suffers from epilepsy and endures as many as 100 seizures a day, reports Georgia Public Radio.

For children like Haleigh, a marijuana derivative called cannabidiol (CBD) has significantly reduced the seizures. Parents have said CBD is the only treatment providing relief.

Peake said his bill would allow academic research institutions to grow the plant, not businesses or individuals.    
“That's the last thing we want is to allow folks to start growing cannabis in their backyard or anyone, even a business, to do it at this point.  We're just doing it for academic research centers,” Peake told WSB TV

Parent Janea Cox has a child with a seizure disorder, and she favors the medical use of marijuana in Georgia.

“I think it's a good idea to grow it here, that way they can keep tight regulations on it.  And they know exactly when it's being grown, how it's tested,” Cox  told WSB. “This could be their last possible hope of living a good life.”

The bill now goes to the House and if it wins passage there would go on to the Senate for approval. If enacted, the Georgia Composite Medical Board would oversee the use of marijuana derivatives in an oil or pill form, for treatment of patients within an academic medical center research setting, under the direction of a physician.

The only conditions approved for treatment would be seizure disorders, glaucoma, and nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy and radiation.

The Marijuana Policy Project says, ”We already know from similar programs in other states that this will be unworkable. Please ask your legislators to support an effective medical marijuana program in Georgia based on MPP’s model bill.”

Twenty other states have medical marijuana laws, allowing for in-state production, manufacture and distribution for treatment of patients on the recommendation of their physicians.

In August 2013, the U.S. Justice Department issued an advisory saying federal prosecutors would not pursue investigations of medical marijuana as long as its use complied with the states’ guidelines.

Sandydog5 February 28, 2014 at 12:06 PM
@electric123, Medical cannabis is cannabis in all forms (plant, oils, hash, wax, edibles). Please do some research. @Pat Farrer, Keeping cannabis illegal supports the illegal drug trade and all the bad the goes with it. I'll bet you'd get more then a misdemeanor if you gave your child cannabis.
J. W. MacMahon February 28, 2014 at 01:25 PM
As a pharmacist, I have entered comment on several "forums" related to the de-criminalization of MJ..The personal use is a matter of personal choice. The laws today are predicated on the Harrison Narcotic Act, which was enacted in 1937 to control the heavy duty narcotics such as heroin (which was still used by physicians at that time) and other entities such as opium related narcotics. At that time, "Killer Weed" was wrongfully included with the truly heavy narcotics above. So, at this point in time we are still bound by a law that was incorrect at inception some 65 years ago and continues to reek havoc on the some estimated 50 million American "criminals" today. It behooves us all to learn the true nature of MJ and discontinue the knee-jerk response to its recreational use. MJ and alcohol are two very separate entities and cannot be compared pharmacologically, but the damage and heartache brought on by alcohol abuse is certainly exponential to any such effect caused by MJ. In reality MJ has none of the crippling abuse potential as dose alcohol. Granted, MJ may produce a dependancy on its need and use but never the result alcohol precipitates. With all this in place, it is obvious the extremely harsh penalties associated with personal use be changed and the product be taxed, standardized and sold in state outlets such as liquor stores and enhance the coffers like those of Colorado, insteard of wasting untold millions of dollars on ineffective police action and search and destroy missions. This senario has already been tried and defeated in the roaring 20's when our mis-guided temperace ladies invoked the prohibition statutes that were Totally useless and only enhanced the crimnal element such as the "Capone" mobs that used alcohol as one of their financing tools . So wise up overy one....ESPECIALLY the ignorant legislators who turn a blind eye to this innocuous MONEY POT and CHANGE THE LAWS from the distant 65 years ago. I do not use MJ, but logic dictates the status quo is terribly wrong and needs update to 2014. RxJiMac/Atlanta
Jose Gonzales February 28, 2014 at 05:08 PM
If it's enacted Georgia will admit to the world that the past few decades have been a horrific lie.
electric123 February 28, 2014 at 11:20 PM
@ Sandy, and your point?
Jerry Frisch March 01, 2014 at 10:18 AM
They will likely make the one mistake that keeps the drug dealers in business: taxing the marijuana. The murders will continue.


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