Georgia House Speaker David Ralson (R-Blue Ridge) has announced the formation of a study group that is designed to find the best way to connect patients with cannabis based medicines. The committee will begin work this legislation session.
“I think the naming of this committee just reinforces that this is a real priority for the House, a real priority for Speaker Ralston. And I think that’s a good thing for a lot of Georgia citizens who could potentially benefit,” says Representative Allen Peake, who will chair the new group.
Peake us the author of a recently-filed proposal that would expand the state's medical cannabis law to allow patients to grow their own medicine at home. Peake also wants the limited law to be drastically expanded to include other qualifying conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain.
Under Georgia's current medical cannabis law (known as the Haleigh’s Hope Act, signed into law in April of 2015) those with a recommendation from a physician can possess cannabis based medicines, but only if they are low in THC; and smoking is prohibited.
The current qualifying conditions are:
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma-related head injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Mitochondrial disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sickle cell disease
The law Peake is supporting would allow smoking, home cultivation and establishes dispensaries to distribute the plant.
Republican Governor Nathan Deal has declined to comment on whether or not he supports such a move.