Last Update: April 21, 2015
Low-THC oil medical cannabis bill becomes law
On April 16, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law HB 1, the Haleigh’s Hope Act. The same day, the state issued its first medical cannabis identification card.
This new law, which was sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake, allows qualified patients to legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low-THC cannabis oils with their doctors’ recommendations. While this is an improvement to current law, it leaves the vast majority of medical marijuana patients without legal protections for using and possessing the medicine their doctors think is best for them. It also forces patients to smuggle the oil back from other states in which medical marijuana products can be legally produced. For these reasons, MPP will not be counting Georgia as a “medical marijuana state.” For more information, please see our summary of the law.
Please thank your legislators for taking this modest first step, and encourage them to support a more comprehensive medical marijuana program.
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].