Georgia bill would seek limited access to medical marijuana strain

ATLANTA Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:20pm EST

A man shreds marijuana during a rally to hand out information and collect signatures for marijuana legalization outside the Senate building in Mexico City January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

A man shreds marijuana during a rally to hand out information and collect signatures for marijuana legalization outside the Senate building in Mexico City January 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Tomas Bravo

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ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia state representative Allen Peake introduced a bill on Tuesday that would legalize a non-psychoactive strain of marijuana strictly limited to patients with severe seizure disorders.

The Republican lawmaker's proposal is similar to legislation introduced recently in Florida and Alabama, while limiting its availability to a handful of medical research facilities.

Peake's interest in the issue was prompted by a constituent's 4-year-old daughter, who suffers from a seizure disorder.

"When I saw her, she reminded me so much of my granddaughter, who is about the same age," said Peake. "It made me realize that if this was my child or my grandchild, I'd be moving heaven and earth to get this legislation passed to provide some hope and relief to these families."

Medical marijuana in various forms is currently legal in 20 states, and at least 10 other states are considering legalizing it, including Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee, said Erik Altieri, spokesman for the Washington-based pro-marijuana group, NORML.

"Traditionally, this was the realm of Democratic lawmakers. But we're beginning to see a lot more Republicans get behind this issue," he said. "It really seems like finally, legislators are catching up with the will of the people."

None of the 20 states where medical marijuana is currently legally available are in the south, Altieri said.

If the Georgia medical marijuana bill is enacted, patients would not be able to obtain the drug from their corner drugstore, Peake said. The drugs would be dispensed by five university research centers in the state.

Georgia law already allows medical marijuana to be prescribed at medical research facilities for cancer patients and to relieve eye pressure for glaucoma sufferers, though a state board has never been authorized to administer the program, according to Peake.

In Alabama, a bill called Carly's law, initiated to help a toddler with violent seizures was filed in the first days of the 2014 Alabama Legislative session that convened January 14.

The bill, which is still in committee review, also makes it legal to possess a prescribed medical grade extract known as cannabidiol, or CBD, which is non-intoxicating.

Florida lawmakers are also considering legalizing CBD, which has shown promising results for controlling seizures.

The strain is low in TCH, the psychoactive compound that gives users the feeling of being high. The product has no value to traditional marijuana consumers and comes as an oil.

Passage of the bill in Georgia would be tough, said Peake, but added it had the key backing of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG).

The association's president William Silver told Reuters that MAG supported marijuana use for medicinal purposes in academic settings.

(Writing by David Adams; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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Comments (12)
Mylena wrote:
That’s perfect. it seems like professionals there have the problem crystak ckear. How many times a month? how many pounds the patient weight, how many check up we must to make over the patient to be sure that he;s the one that is using this drug. Very cleaver: good for you GeORGIA!!!!!!

Jan 28, 2014 9:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Paulpot wrote:
Why are we so scared of getting high?
THC is also an important medicine and is perfectly safe.
It has anti carcinogenic properties among other things.
It does no damage, it just makes you feel good.
And there in you find the reason why it’s so helpful.
It reduces stress.
If you can reduce stress you improve the patients chances.
Cannabis is so safe there is no reason why it cannot be given to children when the need arises.
And cannabis medicines in all its forms have been given to children suffering a range of cancers and other serious illness’ for stimulating appetite among other things.
All forms of cannabis must be legal for to deny safe, effective medicine to anyone in great need is a “Crime Against Humanity”.

Jan 28, 2014 11:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sw33tcookies wrote:
the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING!!!13

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, and 2016 elections

20 years behind us souther states, sad and scary….nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…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…
love and freedom forever

MARIJUANA SUPER BOWL 2014, free state vs. free state, destiny

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

Jan 29, 2014 10:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
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