Last Update: February 24, 2015
Fight for medical marijuana stalls in Peach State
The New Year started off with some disappointing news, when Gov. Nathan Deal persuaded legislative champion Rep. Allen Peake to water down his medical marijuana bill. Rep. Peake had been granted the coveted symbolic bill number, HB 1, but the legislation he introduced was not the medical marijuana program with in-state access that many had hoped for.
Instead, Rep. Peake and Gov. Deal’s compromise would merely grant immunity from prosecution to families who smuggle medical marijuana back in from other states or obtain it in the criminal market. These are not risks that seriously ill patients and their families should have to take. The state should provide its most vulnerable residents with safe, legal access to the medicine they need.
Sen. Curt Thompson has introduced SB 7, the “Controlled Substances Therapeutic Relief Act,” which would do just that. Please ask your legislators to support a comprehensive medical marijuana program, such as Sen. Thompson's, 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.
To receive news about Georgia marijuana policy reform as it happens, be sure to subscribe to MPP's free legislative alert service, if you haven't done so already. If you have any questions concerning the status of marijuana reform in Georgia, you can contact MPP at [email protected].