Today, the Georgia Legislature meets for its final day. By constitutional mandate, the Georgia Legislature can only meet for 40 days. Any legislation that does not pass today will die.
My friend Allen Peake has been pushing legislation this year to legalize possession of a form of medical marijuana. It is not, as in some places, marijuana that is smoked. This is an oil based form of medical marijuana that will not get anyone high. Though there has not been much study on it, this form of medical marijuana has shown promise in helping stop chronic seizures.
In Allen Peake’s district, and near my home, a small child has been hospitalized with debilitating, chronic seizures. Her parents are considering moving to Colorado so the child has access to the oil. Other parents of children with the same condition have found the oil significantly improves the life of their children.
Peake’s bill would make it lawful for parents to possess the medicine and would do so in a controlled, responsible way. Again, the medicine in question cannot get anyone high. The state of Georgia has struggled with the issue, I’ve struggled with my position on the issue, and the legislature has done commendable work drafting a compromise plan that meets the expectations of parents and the concerns of the medical and law enforcement community.
In fact, both the medical and law enforcement communities support the legislation.
Today is the last day Allen Peake’s law can pass. I encourage the legislature to pass H.B. 885 today and hope Governor Deal will sign it into law.