Georgia House passes legislation for medical marijuana on ‘Crossover Day’
by Ray Henry, Associated Press and Christina A. Cassidy, AP Sports Writer
March 04, 2014 12:00 AM | 1668 views | 3 3 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Janea Cox kisses her daughter, Haleigh, as she listens to a debate on the House floor on a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Georgia for patients with certain illnesses such as Haleigh’s on Monday in Atlanta. The House voted 171-4 to approve the proposal ahead of an important legislative deadline. <br>The Associated Press
Janea Cox kisses her daughter, Haleigh, as she listens to a debate on the House floor on a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Georgia for patients with certain illnesses such as Haleigh’s on Monday in Atlanta. The House voted 171-4 to approve the proposal ahead of an important legislative deadline.
The Associated Press
slideshow
ATLANTA — Patients diagnosed with certain illnesses could take a form of medical marijuana under a plan that Georgia’s state legislators backed Monday ahead of an important deadline that sorts out which bills go forward and which will likely fail for the year.

Legislative rules force Georgia’s state lawmakers to get their bills approved by at least one chamber of the General Assembly by what’s commonly called “Crossover Day,” or else those bills are unlikely to get to the governor’s desk. That rule can be bent, but it is difficult.

Among the biggest debates was a plan to let people suffering from the side effects of cancer treatment, glaucoma and some seizure disorders to take products derived from cannabis oil in the hope it will ease their symptoms. House lawmakers voted 171-4 to approve the bill. It now heads to the state Senate.

The cannabis could be given to patients orally as a liquid, a pill or through injections. State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), the bill’s sponsor, said the cannabis could bring relief for children who suffer from hundreds of seizures daily. He said cannabis oil is low in THC, the active ingredient that produces the marijuana high.

“It is not a slippery slope toward legalization of cannabis for recreational use,” Peake said. “I stand firmly against that direction and will fight it with all my energy.”

Several politicians acknowledged they were initially reluctant to change statewide drug policy during an election year, but Peake urged them not to delay by setting up study committees or holding the bill until next year.

“We cannot move fast enough,” he said.

Janea Cox hugged her daughter, Haleigh, during the vote. Her daughter has up to 100 seizures daily, and she had lobbied for the legislation.

“We are all so overwhelmed right now,” Cox said, crying. “We had so much support in there I can’t imagine it not passing. It’s crazy to be a part of history. I think we’re all in shock right now.”

There were skeptics. Rep. Sharon Cooper, chairwoman of the Health and Human Service Committee, voted for the proposal but cautioned that it is flawed. Cooper said research colleges that provide medical marijuana under the proposed law could lose federal funding and their officials could be prosecuted.

In the Senate, lawmakers approved a bill that says health insurance policies available through Georgia’s federally run insurance exchange can’t fund abortion. The Republican-dominated chamber voted 35-18 to approve the restrictions, a step supporters said two dozen other states have already taken. Democratic lawmakers opposed the bill, saying it infringes on a woman’s right to choose.

As the day progressed, House lawmakers voted 173-3 to approve placing a statue of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the Capitol grounds or in another prominent location. While the bill passed by a wide margin, honoring King has been politically controversial in past years. Former Gov. Lester Maddox refused to shut down state government when King was assassinated. A portrait of King hangs in the Statehouse, but the grounds also host portraits and monuments of politicians who supported segregation.

Other issues remain unresolved.

For example, a proposal to regulate companies that allow people to order a ride using their cellphones had not been scheduled for a vote, meaning it was at risk of collapsing this year. Those regulations were supported by existing limousine companies, but they were opposed by ridesharing companies including Uber. Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs) said he expected a proposal to tighten the rules under which police and prosecutors can seize property and cash would fail after it was opposed by the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association.

Comments
(3)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Lib in Cobb
|
March 04, 2014
@Nanny: I am very familiar with properties of medical reefer and very likely more well informed than most, including you. I don't remember if I was high on November 6, 2012. The right man won that election and it still bothers you, that's a good thing. Get ready for Hillary in the White House.
Lib in Cobb
|
March 03, 2014
I have a slightly torn meniscus, could I get the first prescription please. Two ounces of California Sensimilla, trimmed clean please.
cobb nanny
|
March 04, 2014
it' folks like you that delay & give the wrong focus on bills such as this. the children that are in true "medcial" need of the cannibus oil suffer when jerks such as yourself make jokes. it plain to see you arent educated about this HB885 or else you would know that cannibus oil offfers nothing that would give you that marijuana HIGH. Grow up Lib in Cobb. its people such as yourself that is destorying our country. were you high when you voted in the last pres election
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides