Supporters say they will have better luck during next legislative session
A bill that would have legalized some forms of medical marijuana in Georgia has failed to pass the General Assembly, according to 13 WMAZ News. The bill was primarily aimed at helping children who suffer from severe seizures. Cannabis oil, which is still a banned substance in Georgia, has been shown to reduce the number of seizures suffered by some children. The bill would have protected the parents of such children from marijuana possession charges. Despite the disappointment, supporters of the proposed legislation say they will have a better chance of passing a similar bill during the next legislative session.
Cannabis oil bill
The bill dealt primarily with the issue of cannabis oil, which is used to treat seizures in children. The oil, which is derived from marijuana plants, is not legally available in Georgia. As a result, parents of children who suffer from such seizures have gone to other states, particularly Colorado, where the use of cannabis oil is legal.
The bill originally would have not only legalized cannabis oil, but would have allowed for it to be grown within the state. However, later versions of the bill were progressively watered down and only provided that parents could not be prosecuted in Georgia if they legally purchased the cannabis oil in another state. However, even in that latter form, the bill failed to pass before the current legislative session ended.
Panel to study medical marijuana
However, there are indications that the next legislative session will be better for proponents of legalizing medical marijuana. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, a legislative panel was formed soon after the bill's defeat to look into the issue of medical marijuana. The panel will meet in cities around Georgia over the next four months to discuss legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Supporters of legalizing medical marijuana say that Georgians are increasingly supportive of the change. While the latest attempt failed due to political infighting, medical marijuana proponents contend that there is a good chance, as evidenced by the recently formed legislative panel, a similar bill will be passed during the General Assembly's next session.
The above story is a reminder that although medical marijuana is now legal in many states, it remains a banned substance in Georgia. Even people who legally purchase medical marijuana in another state may face criminal prosecution for marijuana possession if they bring the substance to Georgia.
Anybody charged with a drug possession or trafficking offense needs the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney right away. By seeking legal representation from an experienced attorney, people charged with a drug crime will have a much better chance of either having the charges thrown out or receiving a less severe sentence.