ATLANTA -- A bill to expand treatments eligible for medical marijuana overwhelmingly passed the Georgia House of Representatives Tuesday. The bill needs Senate approval between now and Thursday in order to go to the Governor for his signature.
The House bill allows the use of cannabis oil, derived from marijuana, to treat a list of conditions. They include
- ALS, at its end stage
- Seizure disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis, at its end stage
- Crohn's disease
- Sickle Cell, at its end stage
- Autism for patients 18 or under
- Tourette's syndrome
- Epidermolysis bullosa, a skin condition
- Alzheimer's, at its end stage
- AIDS, at its end stage
- Peripheral neuropathy, at its end stage
The bill allows cannabis oil to retain its 5% strength of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The state Senate previously passed a bill to reduce that amount, but withdrew that requirement during negotiations with House members.
"I’m grateful we’ve moved the ball," said Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), who has sponsored medical marijuana bills the last several sessions. "We’re not there yet. We still have a huge issue of, where do we access the product. And until we deal with that we’re still going to be shortchanging our citizens in some respects."
Peaks has introduced a constitutional amendment to legalize in-state cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes. That bill hasn't moved this year but Peake says he hopes it will advance in 2018.