Never before in the history of Georgia politics have so many cannabis related bills been filed in the General Assembly. Seven (7) bills have been filed during the 2015/2016 sessions. Bills ranging from an expansion of HB-1, a medical cannabis bills passed in 2015, to removal of felony charges for possession of more than one ounce of marijuana (SB-254). Also, a bill allowing for industrial hemp was filed in 2015 to allow farmers to experiment with the hemp plant.
Yet another bill is expected to be filed this week.
Georgia C.A.R.E. Project director James Bell attributes the interest in marijuana law reform to education. Lawmakers are doing research and watching the trends across the nation where state by state reform is underway.
Another factor that has caught the attention of legislators is the fact that polls indicate Georgia voters want to see some type of reform. About 50% of voters want legalization and more than 80% support expanding the medical cannabis bill to allow for in-state cultivation.
"Marijuana law reform is inevitable in Georgia" said James Bell. "They are arresting more than 30,000 people each year. This revenue that can be better spent on drug treatment and education. Marijuana laws do more harm than the plant itself."
Bell said marijuana prohibition laws are effecting families through out the state by creating criminal records and loss of job and educational opportunities.
"We can regulate cannabis for adults like alcohol and tobacco and end the black markets that drive crime and corruption", Bell said.
List of pending bills:
- House Bill 722 - Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill
- Senate Bill 254 - No felonies for possession of marijuana
- House Bill 704 - Industrial Hemp
- House Bill 283 - Marijuana arrests and drivers licenses
- Senate Resolution 6 - Ballot initiative for the legalization of marijuana
- Senate Bill 7 - Medical cannabis bill
- Senate Bill 198 - Marijuana Regulations# # # #
For more information visit www.gacareproject.com
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Source: Georgia CARE Project press release