House Bill 1, which would allow the use of medical cannabis in Georgia to treat nine serious diseases, passed in the Georgia House today by a vote of 158-2. The two dissenting votes were cast by Darrel Ealum (D-Albany) and Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville). The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration. In a press release, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Allen Peake of Macon, had this to say:
When I began this journey, I made a promise to bring those families home and to give Georgians a chance to obtain medical cannabis oil in our state without fear of prosecution. I thank my colleagues in the House for their support and Governor Deal for his leadership as we worked toward today’s vote.
Following passage of the bill, House Speaker David Ralston praised the passage of the bill from his seat at the rostrum:
I don’t think I’ve done this before, but I’m going to take a personal point of privilege to say I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a finer piece of legislating than Representative Peake has done over two years on this very important measure, a measure that is a real solution to a real problem that exists now, and I want to personally thank him and tell him that I am pleased to support his efforts.
With passage of his bill in the House, Peake’s attention now turns to the Senate, which he fears will remove most of the diseases that can be treated with the CBD oil, leaving only childhood seizures. As passed in the House, the oil could be used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mitochondrial disease, sickle cell disease, and fibromyalgia. Peake estimates up to half a million Georgians could potentially benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
Peake pointed to the safeguards built into his bill requiring a patient-doctor relationship in order to use the oil, and asked, “As long as we are leaving the decision between a patient and his doctor, why would we not allow as many citizens as possible to benefit from a low THC product?”