Deal Asked to Decriminalize Marijuana

March 25, 2014 11:00 am

by Tim Darnell · 12 comments

The Georgia affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is asking Gov. Nathan Deal to decriminalize marijuana.

The request comes after the end of the most recent General Assembly last week, in which a bill allowing the use of cannabis oil for medical purposes failed on the session’s final day.

“Gov. Deal says he will be ‘talking with all of our state agencies, to see if there is something we can do to make this treatment possible,’” says Peachtree NORML Executive Director Sharon Ravert, “But he cannot pass laws; only the legislators can do that and they won’t be back in session until 2015.   Deal can act now and in the meantime, put together a commission to study medical marijuana laws from the twenty states with working programs to make recommendations for the 2015 legislature.”

Ravert says Deal has the power to essentially decriminalize the use of marijuana. 

“Deal could issue an executive order tomorrow to all state law enforcement agencies directing them not to pursue personal-use marijuana cases,” says Ravert.  “Not only would that help the families of epileptic kids treat their seizures, but cancer patients could treat their nausea and pain, PTSD patients could treat their mental trauma, and Georgia parents wouldn’t have to worry that their college-aged children will go to jail if they experiment with marijuana.”

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

gcp March 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm

And why was Deal absent on the med marijuana issue during this legislative session? Why didn’t he use his influence to get it passed? Where was he on gun legislation, tax reform, a new parking deck for the Falcons and many other issues? We sure knew he supported t-splost and the Medicare bed tax a couple years ago.

Will Durant March 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Common sense and our political/legal systems have nothing to do with each other. I applaud the effort but especially in an election year I think I have a better chance of engaging the Governor in a snowball fight on his lawn this coming 4th of July.

Jon Richards March 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Keep in mind the originator of this release — NORML. And a question for any who support the idea of the governor using an executive order to effectively decriminalize personal use of pot: did you also support the Obama/Holder decisions to not prosecute certain illegal immigrants or to not enforce laws banning same sex marriage?

John Konop March 25, 2014 at 3:53 pm

This falls into the current case before the Supreme Court via corporations and religion….I tend to believe like Adam Smith that individual rights as long as they do not take away rights from other people should trump government, corporations……rights…..

As far decriminalizing pot, or business right to not serving gays, blacks Jews people at restaurants, use of contraception by employees……I would side toward the individual over the corporations, government…..

This is why Adam smith was a leading abolitionist of his time as well as the father of the free market system…the concept is to support the right of the individual to have freedom of choice….By letting corporations, government…..control the individual you take away rights…..

Adam Smith:

………..He believed that a ‘system of natural liberty and justice’ (WN, 157) combined with free trade and division of labour would make virtually every member of society prosperous if they were interested in self-help. For Adam Smith liberty meant not only freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but freedom to earn a living, freedom from burdensome taxes and trade restrictions, freedom from excessive government regulations, and the freedom to own and use property to create a new business. He believed in the creative power of hundreds of millions of individual decisions under the rule of just law creating the power and prosperity of free markets. ……

…..Smith described the problems that occur when government or monoplies reduce freedom. …

http://www.britsattheirbest.com/freedom/f_adam_smith.htm

Rick Day March 25, 2014 at 5:12 pm

We should have clarified that the easiest way for the governor to approach this is an EO basically directing all law enforcement under state authority to make possession of less that one ounce the lowest priority of the system, from cops up to the courts. He wants to address the issue. The question is do we wait another 18 months while parents have to break laws to get the cannabis they feel ameliorates certain symptoms.

If any of his people are reading, know this: if Gov Deal takes this approach, I will not only vote for him, but in a tight race with Carter still sitting on the sidelines picking his..time, this issue WILL win the election. If he does not he will lose that critical tea party and independent vote. They will just stay home or not punch his button.

I hope he does the right thing.

Harry March 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm

Would you allow your bouncers to take a couple of hits? The word is they need to chill out.

John Konop March 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm

You either believe in personal choice or not? As long as someone does not hurt someone else why do you care what they do?

Harry March 25, 2014 at 10:50 pm

My source tells me that Rick’s bouncers are overtly aggressive. Maybe they need some medical weed to help chill. Either way it could be a legal problem.

John Konop March 26, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Why not listen to the American people?

………A CNBC All-America Survey finds that 56 percent of Americans would view it as acceptable if a business sold marijuana in their city or town, assuming it were legal in their state. Support, however, declines to 48 percent when asked about a business selling marijuana “in or near your neighborhood.”

Still the poll of 800 Americans across the country conducted by Hart-McInturff is part of a growing set of surveys showing increased support for legalization of marijuana. In the CNBC poll, a majority in each of the country’s four geographic regions found it acceptable for marijuana to be sold in their home town. Support was weakest in the South, but 50 percent still found it acceptable for pot to be sold. In the West, 66 percent found it acceptable….

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/most-americans-back-marijuana-sales-not-their-backyard-n62571

Three Jack March 26, 2014 at 11:50 pm

Decriminalizing pot increases tax revenue, it’s a fact – http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/03/11/its-no-toke-colorado-pulls-in-millions-in-marijuana-tax-revenue/

Colorado could see in excess of $40m from pot tax. Georgia should follow suit and dedicate all tax proceeds to transportation funding. Smoke more, less gridlock.

John Konop March 27, 2014 at 7:56 am

Good idea…..the money would have a multiplier effect…better transportation more economic growth…40 mm a year of tax revenue could service enough bonds to fix a lot of problems….

John Vestal March 27, 2014 at 10:11 am

Michelle Malkin on medical marijuana (maybe not what you’re expecting)