Georgia’s medical marijuana law, originally introduced in late 2015, may well be undergoing some big changes.
Georgia is one of the many states in the country to allow some use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. A recent vote by the State Senate approved changes to Georgia's law. Now, the State House of Representatives must vote on the proposed changes. Anyone interested in the medical use of pot in Georgia should be aware of what is being proposed.
The original medical marijuana law in Georgia
In order to understand the potential changes to Georgia's medical pot law, it is important to first be clear about what the current law provides. As reported by AJC.com, Georgia first enacted a medical marijuana law in late 2015.
Certainly medical use of marijuana was not unusual in the U.S. as many other states had passed legislation allowing this already. However, many of those states limited the concentration of THC to one percent or even less in some cases.
Georgia's law, however, allowed people to purchase cannabis oil with THC concentrations up to five percent . Children and adults were legally granted the right to possess as much as 20 ounces of oil at one time so long as a physician approved the use.
Qualifying conditions for which medical marijuana could be used included seizure disorders like epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, cancer, mitochondrial disease, sickle cell disease, multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig's disease.
One challenge that remained even after the passage of this law was how people could legally obtain the cannabis oil as the manufacture of it was still illegal in Georgia. Purchasing the drug in another state did not resolve that issue because transporting marijuana purchased legally in one state into another may require passage through air or through states in which pot was not legal for any purpose. Federal law prohibits such transportation.
Proposed new law offers expanded use but reduced potency
Slightly more than a year after the original law went into effect the State Senate approved the use of medical marijuana for persons with severe autism. The Telegraph clarifies that any person must be a legal adult.
Along with this expanded use of the drug comes a new provision that caps the amount of THC in medical cannabis oil to three percent. Some lawmakers were pushing for a reduction to one percent.
The House of Representatives must now vote on the proposed change in legislation. Reports indicated no changes to the laws about manufacturing the drug in Georgia.
Changing laws require proper guidance
As Georgia's laws on medical marijuana continue to face changes, people in need of medicinal cannabis may struggle with how to legally get the help and relief they need. Talking with an attorney is advised for anyone in this situation as that is the best way to understand the nuances of often fast-changing laws.