A limited form of medical marijuana has been legal in Georgia since earlier this year, but residents already say they want more.
A new poll finds Georgians support expanding the state’s medicinal cannabis law so patients can actually obtain the drug. That law currently allows certain non-intoxicating marijuana preparations, but there is no provision allowing anyone to grow it in the state. Shipping the drug between states is a federal crime, so there is also no way to import it.
But the poll finds that nearly 85 percent of voters want to make it possible for patients or providers to grow CBD marijuana. Pollsters asked respondents if they would support a law allowing in-state cultivation and processing of cannabis under tight regulations and security requirements.
A large majority support full-plant medical marijuana
“There is no issue in Georgia that unites our fellow citizens like this one,” said State Rep. Allen Peake, author of the current law. “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.”
Peake is pushing another bill, which would expand the program to include in-state grows. But it’s unclear whether it’s likely to pass, as conservative GOP Gov. Nathan Deal has expressed doubts about the plan, saying he doesn’t see any way Georgia could legalize cannabis cultivation.
That position is abject nonsense, as proved by every other state that has adopted full medical marijuana. Not one of those systems has collapsed or drawn full federal intervention, not even in notoriously chaotic California. Deal is trying to appease the law-and-order wing in Georgia, which adamantly opposes any legalization or decriminalization of any kind of cannabis under any circumstance.
Non-intoxicating CBD oil allowed in the state
Deal signed the current MMJ program into law in March. It allows only the possession and use of cannabis oils high in CBD, a chemical used to fight epilepsy, especially in children. No THC is allowed in the drug, which means no user could get high off it. This makes the CBD approach especially appealing in treating children, but it also gives right-wing lawmakers an excuse to allow a medication they would otherwise ban.
Georgia is one of more than a dozen conservative states with CBD laws on the books. Patients in many of these places are pushing to legalize “whole plant” treatments. These include any medical use of any part of the marijuana plant, including material that is high in THC content.