While Georgia’s measly medical marijuana law submits patients to become drug traffickers in order to get their hands on a non-intoxicating form of a cannabis concentrate, Governor Nathan Deal stands apprehensive about backing any measure that would allow CBD strains to be grown in-state.
In a recent interview with the Telegraph, Deal stated he doesn’t “Think we have sufficient information or ability to control something of that nature if we start production and processing here in our state.” The governor’s mind set on this issue could pose as an issue for lawmakers working to develop a semi-functional medical marijuana program in the near future.
Representative Allen Peake, the man responsible for introducing the 2015 CBD-only bill, is reportedly on the brink of introducing legislation that would allow cannabis oil to be manufactured in Georgia.
As it stands, patients with a medical marijuana recommendation from a licensed doctor can be in possession of up to 20 fluid ounces of cannabis oil as long as it is made up of less than 5 percent THC. Yet, the state does not allow cultivation, so patients must sneak the product into Georgia from a legal state, such as Colorado.
While the law technically keeps these people safe from a law enforcement shakedown in the state of Georgia, it does nothing to defend them from federal drug charges if they happen to get busted delivering a derivative of the marijuana plant across state lines.
It is this detriment to the safety of Georgia patients that Peake believes could be enough to convince the governor to reconsider his position.
“I’m hoping we can provide him a compelling argument that we can minimize public safety risks while optimizing real future benefits for Georgians,” Peake stated.
“I am absolutely convinced that we can offer a model that would calm the fears of law enforcement and minimize any public safety issues.” Unfortunately, in order for Peake to successfully move this type of proposal through the StateLegislature, his latest effort will mostly likely reflect Minnesota’s ultra-restrictive medical marijuana program.
This past week, the lawmaker stated that building a system with only two licensed producers distributing pill and oils might be something that law enforcement and Governor Deal might be prepared to get behind.
Even a program as limited as Minnesota’s doesn’t seem to have much of a chance at this juncture.
Earlier this year, a research team appointed by Governor Deal traveled to Colorado to explore the possibility of bringing cannabis production to Georgia.
Although the results of the report will not be published for several more weeks, Deal suggests the synopsis will reiterate his concerns that cannabis production cannot be done in “a controlled environment.” Despite the governor’s reluctance towards providing Georgia patients with restricted access to CBD strains, the majority of the state’s population doesn’t see a problem with it.
A recent poll conducted by Georgians for Freedom in Health Care found an overwhelming 84.5 percent of the respondents said cannabis production should be allowed under strict regulations.
“There is no issue in Georgia that unites our fellow citizens like this one,” Peake said.
“People all across our state, young and old, black and white, need this medicine and they expect our government to create an infrastructure where they can have access to a safe and legal product.”
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