Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill Thursday that makes medical marijuana legal in Georgia.(Photo: 11Alive)
ATLANTA – Gov. Nathan Deal was brought to tears as he signed a bill Thursday that makes medical marijuana legal in Georgia.
The new law allows the use of cannabis oil to treat certain medical conditions. Patients can possess up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil with low levels of THC, the chemical in marijuana that causes a high.
Deal officially signed the bill into law shortly after 11 a.m. at the Capitol.
“For the families enduring separation and patients suffering pain, the wait is finally over,” Deal said.
Deal said seeing children and families personally affected by the issued caused him and legislators to reevaluate medical marijuana in the state. Many of those families were in attendance at ceremony.
“It’s touched my heart,” Deal tearfully said. “I’m just pleased that today we’re going to make a difference and it’s going to be a good difference.”
Georgia families gathered at the capitol for the Governor’s signing of the medical marijuana law. (Photo: Jennifer Leslie, 11Alive News)
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), praised the signing.
“We can now begin the highly anticipated process of bringing our medical refugees back home to Georgia,” Peake said.
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Patients with the following conditions are eligible for medical cannabis oil under the new law: cancer, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s and sickle cell.
The system to apply for medical marijuana treatment should be up and running in the next 30 to 60 years, Deal said. In the meantime, Deal issued temporary cards to seven families who moved to other states for medical marijuana treatment. More applications for temporary cards are being processed, Deal said.
The law makes Georgia the 36th state plus Washington, D.C., to legalize the use of marijuana extracts for medical use.
Deal stressed that the law does not deal with the cultivation, manufacturing or sale of medical marijuana in Georgia.
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