After meeting Haleigh Cox, the little girl from Monroe County who suffered from hundreds of seizures a day, State Representative Allen Peake knew he had to act. He pushed for Georgia’s medical marijuana bill that passed in 2015. The law allows people with certain conditions like seizures to take and possess small amounts of cannabis oil. Peake says since then, it has helped hundreds of patients with select conditions, but the laws also created a problem for patients.
“We currently have a law that allows you to legally possess medical cannabis oil, but we don’t have a law that gives any ability to access the medical cannabis oil,” Peake said. “Citizens are having to get creative and having to potentially violate federal law.”
Federal law prohibits taking any form of marijuana across state lines, and right now, there’s nowhere to buy it in Georgia. To help patients get the oil, Peake assisted in organizing a distribution network for the oil. He's helped fund a grower who does research in another state, and in turn, cannabis oil somehow ends up in Georgia.
“I don’t know have any idea how the product gets here,” Peake said. “Once we have it, we give it to families and citizens for free.”
Is that legal for him to do that? According to Georgia law in part:
"It shall be lawful for any person to possess or have under his or her control 20 fluid ounces or less of low THC oil. If such person is registered with the department of public health."
“I have a registry card, so I have the right to legally possess medical cannabis oil up to 20 ounces,” Peake said. “What we'll do is we'll get the product here, we try to make sure we never have more than 20 ounces, and we get it immediately to families.”
We verified it's legal as long as Peake doesn’t have more than 20 ounces on him at a time, since he’s registered with the state and has a card.
“I’m providing by every aspect of Georgia law,” Peake said. “We’re not violating any federal law because I’m not involved in the distribution of getting it here.”