Will lawmakers let voters fix the state medical marijuana program?
Last update: January 17, 2017
While Georgia does allow some seriously ill patients to possess limited types of medical marijuana products, the program falls far short of a workable system. Among many limitations, there is no in-state cultivation, processing, or sale of medical marijuana available for patients. The law leaves it to seriously ill patients or their loved ones to acquire it in another state if possible, and bring it across state lines — placing people at significant risk. As a result, the current law leaves most patients behind.
This year, the author of the current law, Rep. Allen Peake, is again seeking to improve the program. He has introduced HR 36, which would vastly improve the current program. If it passes, lawmakers would ask Georgia’s voters to support or reject a more robust medical marijuana program.
If polls are any indication, voters are likely to strongly support an improved program for patients. The latest in a long line of polls shows continued support for expanding the program to include access for patients.
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.
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