With a stroke of a pen, Governor Nathan Deal has made medical marijuana legal in Georgia. Deal signed the bill into law at 11 a.m. that makes the use of cannabis oil legal for nine medical conditions:
Cancer, when such diagnosis is end stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness, recalcitrant nausea and vomiting.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), when such diagnosis is severe or end stage.
Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries.
Multiple Sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage.
Parkinson’s Disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage.
Sickle Cell Disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage.
State health officials say doctors will have to sign off and submit required forms. The two year battle among lawmakers, medical marijuana supporters and health officials ended with the passage of Haleigh’s Hope Act.
Haleigh Cox receives Georgia’s 1st #medicalmarijuana card #WSBTV#gapol#cannabispic.twitter.com/EuF3iZNnn9
— Lori Geary (@LoriGearyWSB) April 16, 2015
The Department of Public Health will be working with law enforcement to make sure the system is secure and that officers know what to look for when they come across a patient possessing the oil. They say they have no idea how many patients to expect, but as many as 500,000 could qualify.
Approved Georgia patients will be allowed to possess 20 ounces of the low THC oil at any given time. THC is the chemical in marijuana that causes a high.
It is still illegal to grow or buy marijuana in Georgia, meaning families will have to transport the drug from states like Colorado.
One manufacturer says it is willing to risk breaking federal law to ship the medical marijuana.
State Representative Allen Peake says he’ll be back with another bill next year that would allow the growing of medical marijuana in Georgia.
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