Prospects for workable medical marijuana law improving
Last update: June 7, 2016
Patients were left disappointed when the state legislature adjourned in 2016 without improving the state’s largely unworkable medical marijuana law. While patients technically have protections for possession of a limited range of cannabis products, there is no in-state cultivation, processing, or sale. The law leaves it to seriously ill patients or their loved ones to violate federal law and the laws of other states by bringing it across state lines. While Rep. Allen Peake presented a solution in the form of HB 722, the governor indicated he would not support the much-needed regulatory system, and the bill died. The current law leaves most patients behind.
Yet, the conversation is far from over. Since then, the Georgia Republican convention endorsed a resolution to support in-state production and sale of cannabis oil. The resolution was a vote of confidence for Rep. Peake’s measure, and he vowed to fight on in his effort to make the program more functional.
Medical marijuana has strong support among voters in Georgia, which has been shown in poll, after poll, after poll. Given voter support in finding a better approach, it is clear the conversation is far from over, and we expect another improvement bill in 2017.
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.
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].