There are many, many people in Georgia, who will benefit greatly from the passage of this legislation. Can you imagine having as many as 1,000 seizures a day? And for having no hope for medical relief! It is just hard to comprehend the agony that these individuals, and their families have had to endure. I am so thankful to Representative Allen Peake, the other house members, the Georgia Senate, to Governor Deal, and to everyone else who worked so hard to get this bill passed. The final hurdles are another vote in the House, which already voted overwhelmingly to pass the bill, and then to Governor Deal for his signature. This is a historic day in Georgia.
Representative Jeff Jones
Georgia State House
Rep. Peake’s Medical Cannabis Legislation Passes Senate
ATLANTA — The Georgia Senate today gave final passage to House Bill 1, or the Haleigh’s Hope Act, by a vote of 48-6. HB 1, sponsored by State Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon), would decriminalize the possession of medical cannabis in Georgia. The bill will come back to the House for final approval of the changes made in the Senate, and HB 1 will then go to Governor Deal for consideration.
“This is a monumental day in Georgia,” said Rep. Peake. “I am overjoyed and incredibly appreciative for the cooperation shown by my colleagues in the Senate throughout the legislative process, and ultimately, for the passage of HB 1 in the Senate chamber today. Our chambers worked together throughout this process and incorporated language from Senate Bill 185 into HB 1 to continue the Governor’s initiative to direct our university systems to begin clinical trials for medical cannabis, while also providing immunity from prosecution in Georgia for cannabis oil for those with qualifying conditions. The state of Georgia reached a huge milestone today, and the passage of HB 1 by both the House and Senate is an enormous victory for Georgians. Governor Deal has stated that HB 1 could be signed into law as early as this week, which means that our medical refugees living in other states can start preparing to come back home. I look forward to seeing these Georgians return to this state and reunite with their families, friends, loved ones, and support networks, all without living in fear of prosecution.”
HB 1 would provide immunity for the possession of cannabis oil for individuals with certain medical conditions who have obtained cannabis oil legally in another state. Qualifying conditions under HB 1 include Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Seizure disorders, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mitochondrial disease, and sickle cell disease. These individuals would only be allowed to possess cannabis oil with a maximum of 5 percent THC and a maximum amount of 20 fluid ounces of cannabis oil. HB 1 would also require that potential patients register with the Georgia Department of Public Health and be placed on the “Low-THC Oil Patient Registry.” After a recommendation from their physician, these individuals will receive a registration card that exempts them from prosecution in Georgia for possession of medical cannabis oil that has been legally obtained in another state and meets the aforementioned requirements
The bill also creates the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis which will be charged with making a recommendation for the potential regulatory infrastructure for creation of in-state growth/distribution model of medical cannabis. The commission must make its recommendation to the Governor and General Assembly by December 31, 2015. The members of the commission will include the commissioner of the Department of Public Health, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, the commissioner of agriculture, the Governor’s executive counsel, members of the General Assembly, medical professionals, law enforcement officials, and pharmacists. Lastly, the bill directs Georgia’s university system to continue the Governor’s initiative to undertake clinical studies on medical marijuana.
An amendment to HB 1 was also offered today by Chairman Unterman and adopted by the Senate that reinforces protections for employers to establish and maintain drug-free work places.
For more information on HB 1, please click here.
Representative Allen Peake represents the citizens of District 141, which includes portions of Bibb and Monroe counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2006, and currently serves as the Secretary and Treasurer of the House Majority Caucus, the Vice Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, and the Ex-Officio of the Appropriations Committee. He also serves on the Health & Human Services, Rules, and Small Business Development committees. For comments or questions, you may contact Representative Peake at [email protected], or 404-656-5025