Last Update: March 18, 2014

Rep. Allen Peake leads the fight for medical marijuana

After years without a champion in the legislature, medical marijuana patients are finally seeing supporters step forward. Among those in Georgia who are ready to give compassionate marijuana policy serious consideration is House Speaker David Ralston. The Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Republican Senator Josh McKoon, has even introduced his own resolutionSR 756 — which would create a Senate Committee to study the benefits of medical marijuana

But others do not want to wait. The undisputed leader of marijuana policy reform in Georgia this session has been Rep. Allen Peake, who believes it is time to legalize medical marijuana now. In a landslide vote of 171-4, the Georgia House of Representatives passed “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” HB 885, sponsored by Rep. Peake. “[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, in its current form, HB 885 would not provide the access to medicine that Georgians so desperately need, and the Senate Health Committee has rejected Rep. Peake’s proposal to add two non-profit medical dispensaries to the program.

Please ask your legislators to support allowing medical marijuana 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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