Georgia Governor Signs Legal Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law
After a two year battle, the state of Georgia has finally legalized medical marijuana use for some patients with specific disorders.
On Friday, March 27th, Governor Nathan Deal signed “Haleigh’s Law,” officially legalizing some forms of medical marijuana throughout the southern state. Earlier in the week, the medical marijuana legislation cleared a House vote, 160-1.
Like the South Carolina medical marijuana legislation signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley last year, the Georgia bill allows use of cannabis oil, containing primarily the compound cannabidiol or CBD, which is believed to be the therapeutic compound in marijuana. The bill also strictly limits the amount of THC –the compound which created the marijuana “high” – in the oil.
The Georgia Senate wrestled with which diseases should be allowed to use medical marijuana, eventually deleting fibromyalgia from the list, but still including seizure disorders, sickle cell anemia, cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), multiple sclerosis, mitochondrial disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Also like the South Carolina bill, the Georgia medical marijuana legislation was inspired by a young girl and her family, who had to move to Colorado to get the child access to the only type of drug her family found worked to treat her disorder. Haleigh Cox, the 4-year-old girl for whom the bill is named, has a seizure disorder that prevents her from walking or speaking. Janea Cox, her mother, found that medical marijuana oil was the only treatment that worked for her daughter, but had to move out of state to access the treatment.
Although the Georgia bill does not include provisions for growing and processing medical marijuana in the state, at least the legislation allows the Cox family to access medical marijuana oils without being prosecuted for using the treatment.
Governor Deal’s office released a statement saying, in part: “This executive order is the first step in bringing home families who’ve sought relief elsewhere and for providing new medical solutions for Georgians suffering from debilitating conditions. I’ve instructed the Georgia Composite Medical Board and the Department of Public Health to begin taking immediate steps ahead of this law’s enactment. At the same time, law enforcement, health care providers and other stakeholders should make appropriate preparations.”
The Strom Law Firm Can Help Medical Marijuana Users Who Face Drug Charges in South Carolina and Georgia
If you or a loved one have been prescribed medical marijuana out of state, you could still face drug charges in South Carolina or Georgia if you do not meet the state legislation’s specific medical marijuana criteria. The federal government has not made marijuana use of any type legal, but did agree to not prosecute states or individuals working in the state’s rules while medical and recreational marijuana legislation passed on an individual basis. While many states have medical marijuana legislation, each state regulates the drug differently – and South Carolina and Georgia have very strict limits on medical marijuana use. Additionally, if you cross state lines with your medical marijuana, you could face federal drug charges.
If you have been arrested in South Carolina or Georgia for possession or trafficking charges due to medical marijuana, you must find effective drug crimes defense immediately. The drug crimes attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the tough drug legislation in South Carolina and Georgia, and offer free, confidential consultations to discuss your drug charges. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800