Georgia House approves compromise to expand medical marijuana program


Georgia House lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a compromise that would expand the list of disorders eligible for treatment under the state’s nascent medical marijuana program.

The chamber voted 167-4 on Tuesday to adopt Senate Bill 16 after Senate lawmakers backed off a proposal that would reduce the THC level of the cannabis oil Georgians can legally use and House supporters rolled back an even broader expansion.

“This bill doesn’t go as far as many of us like, it does add six more conditions,” said state Rep. Allen Peake, the Macon Republican who is the godfather of the state’s medical marijuana program. “And it does allow many more Georgians to benefit from this law.”

The bill expands the program to cover patients suffering from severe forms of autism, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome. Patients in hospice programs, no matter their diagnosis, would also be allowed access cannabis oil.

Peake, a possible candidate for higher office, drew a standing ovation from members of the House after Speaker David Ralston thanked him for his work on the measure.

The proposal was one of dozens up for a vote on Tuesday, the second-to-last day of the legislative session. It now goes back to the Senate for final consideration, where it’s expected to pass. Gov. Nathan Deal is also expected to sign it into law.

Read more about the medical marijuana program and other legislation by clicking here.


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Georgia Politics

Democrats aim for suburbs in Alabama ahead of Deep South votes
Democrats aim for suburbs in Alabama ahead of Deep South votes

Amanda Wilson has watched with a mix of glee and uncertainty as the imposing homes along this wealthy suburban town’s zigzagging streets has suddenly sprouted Democratic signs. “I’m a blue dot in a big red state,” said Wilson, a 64-year-old retiree. “But I don’t feel as lonely anymore.” Republican U.S. Senate...
Georgia Senate meetings will be live-streamed after Thanksgiving
Georgia Senate meetings will be live-streamed after Thanksgiving

Beginning the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, Georgians who are interested in watching state senators at work can live-stream committee meetings being held in the statehouse. Members of the Georgia Senate on Friday held a mock committee meeting led by Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer, R-Duluth, to test out the new wiring and equipment....
Atlanta mayor under fire amid debate over illegal immigration
Atlanta mayor under fire amid debate over illegal immigration

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is drawing fire from multiple sides in the hot-button debate over illegal immigration after recently announcing the city had joined a nationwide effort in finding legal help for immigrants facing deportation. When Reed announced the city’s new policy this month, he called Atlanta a “welcoming city that stands up...
The Right points to Franken as a symptom of the Left’s hypocrisy
The Right points to Franken as a symptom of the Left’s hypocrisy

The Right has always questioned Franken’s qualifications for the Senate. The revelations of sexual misconduct by the Minnesota  Democrat have added fuel to the fire. A roundup of editorials Friday takes a look at the issue. From The Boston Herald: It’s “physician heal thy self” when it comes to sexual harassment in Congress...
In the light of the news about Al Franken, will the Left own its own sexual misconduct issues?
In the light of the news about Al Franken, will the Left own its own sexual misconduct issues?

Will Sen. Al Franken’s conduct call into question Democrats’ commitment to championing women who have been sexually harassed? A roundup of editorials Friday takes a look at the issue. The Week: Do the Democrats take sexual harassment seriously? We’ll see. From The New Yorker: As the two apologies from Franken show, men still need...
More Stories