Medical marijuana is one step closer to legalization in Georgia. The Georgia state Senate passed the amended House Bill 885, or “Kids Care Act,” 54-0 on Thursday. he bill would legalize use of certain kinds of marijuana, specifically cannabis oil for children with seizures. ccording to the bill, clinical research has shown certain benefits arising from the utilization of medical research cannabis and, most recently, significant benefits of a particular strain delivered orally for the treatment of seizure disorders among children.
The bill only allows for marijuana to be ingested orally or by injection but not smoking. The cannabis allowed by the bill is low in tetrahydrocannabinol or the chemical that produces the feeling of being “high” but lofty in cannabidoils (CBD), which according to many physicians reduces the number and duration of seizures.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee amended HB 885 on March 12, to grant immunity from prosecution in Georgia for possession of CBD oil obtained legally in a state that allows the use of medical marijuana. The bill is quick to state it is not to be “construed as any intent of the General Assembly to be moving in the direction of the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana or other controlled substances.
The passage would also allow qualified-Georgia physicians, their patients and academic medical centers to participate in a state-sponsored program that will research the medicinal use of marijuana and its derivatives for treatment of cancer, glaucoma and seizure disorders. The original HB 885 or “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” which was sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, passed in the Georgia House of Representatives 171-4.
The medical marijuana bill was wed with a bill that mandates insurance coverage for children’s autism treatment. The bills were combined because of a lack of time left in this year’s session, according to Sen. Renee Unterman, R –Buford.
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