| ATLANTA, March 4
ATLANTA, March 4 A Georgia measure that would
legalize use of a liquid, non-intoxicating form of marijuana for
patients with severe seizure disorders has been passed by the
state House of Representatives with wide support.
Lawmakers approved the legislation on Monday in a 171-4
bipartisan vote, and the bill, which would limit availability of
medical marijuana to a handful of research facilities, now goes
to the state Senate for consideration.
The measure's sponsor, Republican Representative Allen
Peake, said he had become interested in the issue after learning
about a constituent's 4-year-old daughter, who suffers from a
"This really was a human story," Peake said in an interview
on Tuesday. "I couldn't be more proud of my colleagues for the
courageous vote they cast."
Medical marijuana in various forms is legal in 20 states.
Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and at least six others
are considering legalizing it, according to Washington-based
pro-marijuana group NORML.
If the Georgia medical marijuana bill becomes law, patients
would only be able to obtain the drug from five university
research centers in the state, Peake said.
Georgia law already allows these medical research facilities
to dispense marijuana to cancer and glaucoma patients, although
a state board has never been authorized to administer the
program, according to Peake. His legislation would activate the
board and include seizure disorders in the program.
In Alabama, a bill called Carly's law, initiated to help a
toddler with violent seizures, was filed in the first days of
the legislative session that convened on Jan. 14.
The measure, which is still in committee review, also makes
it legal to possess a prescribed medical-grade extract known as
cannabidiol, or CBD, which is not intoxicating.
Florida lawmakers also are considering legalizing CBD, which
has shown promising results for controlling seizures.
The strain is low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, 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.
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Lisa Von Ahn)