Last Update: September 11, 2014

Rep. Allen Peake leads the fight for medical marijuana

After years without a champion, medical marijuana patients in the Peach State finally saw supporters in the legislature step forward this session. Leading the charge was Rep. Allen Peake, who ushered his medical marijuana bill to a landslide vote of 171-4 in the Georgia House of Representatives and unanimous support in the Senate.

“[I]f this was my child or my grandchild,” said Peake, “I'd be moving heaven and earth to get this legislation passed to provide some hope and relief to these families."

Unfortunately, “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” HB 885, sponsored by Rep. Peake, failed at the last hour due to a political standoff between the two chambers. However, there is still hope. Gov. Nathan Deal has stated that he will work for a solution that doesn’t require legislative approval, though it remains unclear what that may be.

Meanwhile, a joint committee, co-chaired by Rep. Peake, has been convened to study medical marijuana policy. For more information about the committee, including meeting information, membership, and minutes, visit the committee’s web page. It’s important that advocates don’t settle for a high-CBD or CBD-only law. At best, such a law would only help a tiny fraction of patients who deserve compassion and access to medical cannabis. At worst, extracts without any THC could help no one.

Please ask your legislators to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Georgia.

ACLU study shows Georgia’s harsh marijuana laws result in racially disproportionate arrest rates

Georgia has some of the most punitive marijuana laws in the country, with possession of a mere two ounces being punishable by up to 10 years in prison. It’s clear these laws have not been successful, and new evidence shows that Georgia’s laws are not being evenly enforced.

A 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, blacks in Georgia are 3.7 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.

Please take a moment to send a letter to your legislators asking them to reduce the penalty for possession of marijuana to a civil fine or ask them to end marijuana prohibition entirely.

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