Medical marijuana, autism insurance bills stall

ATLANTA -- The medical marijuana bill appeared in limbo late Thursday after it had been unanimously passed in the Georgia Senate earlier in the day.

House Bill 885 was approved by the Senate 54-0 on Thursday. It moved on to the House for approval. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis oil to treat certain medical conditions.

The bill ran into trouble at the House, as an autism insurance bill was attached to it at a Senate hearing last week. The amended bill would provide insurance coverage for autistic children up to age 6. The House has refused to consider that bill in the past.

Parents who have pushed for the autism measure were worried that House leaders would block the bill.

Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), the chairperson of the committee that combined the bills, has said that the Senate would refuse to pass the bill without the autism aspect included.

Several other bills were closely watched on the final day of legislative session. Any bill that doesn't pass by midnight fails for the year.

Georgia Gov. Nathan described said it had been a "very good session."


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