ATLANTA -- The legislature is now trying to find a way to resolve two competing medical marijuana bills. Both passed before crossover day – and the question for patients is whether one of them will emerge before the legislature adjourns at the end of March.
Families of patients who use medical marijuana have very stark views of the two bills. One, which passed the Senate, they view as a step backward. By contrast, they view a House-passed bill as a step forward.
The Senate bill would lower the allowable percentage of THC in cannabis oil. THC is the psychoactive ingredient that gives marijuana its kick. State law now allows THC at five percent in cannabis oil. The Senate bill would lower it to three percent.
Following a hearing at the Capitol Monday, one parent complained that some lawmakers were adding needless drama to the issue.
"It’s a struggle," said Dale Jackson, the Troup County father of an eight year old who uses maximum strength cannabis oil to treat severe autism. "As elected officials, they get paid to show up here every day. Sometimes they like it when things drag out. Quite frankly, I’m a dad and I don’t like coming to the Capitol every single day. And I want to see it resolved."
Jackson prefers the House bill, which adds eight medical diagnoses for the legal use of medical marijuana. The senate bill adds only one. An advisory commission of legislators voted Monday to urge the two chambers to the House bill as their guide.