Medical Marijuana in Georgia

Medical use of marijuana is now legal in almost half of the states including Georgia, The Georgia Legislature passed the Haleigh Hope Act, signed into law by Governor Deal on April 16, 2015, allowing citizens to possess small amounts of the active ingredient in Marijuana THC for medical use.  The law is very restrictive and does not allow for possession of marijuana in a form where it can be smoked.  Nor does it allow for THC oil to be manufactured in Georgia.  Only a short list of conditions can be treated. While Georgia’s law is specific to a small handful of conditions, medical marijuana laws in states such as California permit marijuana use for a larger number of ailments.

Georgia residents and caregivers to legally possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC (5 percent) cannabis oil for the treatment of only eight diseases:

    1. Cancer, when such diagnosis is end stage or the treatment produces related wasting illness, recalcitrant nausea and vomiting;
    2. seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries;
    3. ALS,
    4. Multiple sclerosis,
    5. Parkinson’s disease
    6. Sickle cell disease, when such diagnosis of each disorder is severe or end stage;
    7. Crohn’s disease
    8. Mitochondrial diseases.

Only these conditions and this form of the active ingredient will be legal in Georgia.

On a philosophical note, for most medical uses of marijuana – good if not better alternatives exist.  This restricted list identifies some of the situations where medical marijuana is a reasonable choice.  Nonetheless when seeking to offer reasonable alternatives, THC should more available.

Although highly celebrated, the law is very restrictive. For the few who will benefit it is a major progressive step in the right direction. People who smoke marijuana for anxiety or relief of pain will not benefit from this new law.  The bill makes it legal for registered caregivers to possess THC oil.  It is still illegal to bring medical marijuana into Georgia.  So, even though registered caregivers can possess Cannabis oil, they must break federal law to bring it into the state.

From a social and scientific point of view it is totally unintelligent for marijuana to be illegal while alcohol and cigarettes are legal.  While the marijuana debate is newsworthy, entertaining and interesting; I’ll spend more energy urging people to stop smoking tobacco and leave alcohol alone.

Source: Press release-

Brenda Fitzgerald MD Commissioner Georgia Dept. of Public Health News accounts website

Brenda Fitzgerald MD Commissioner Georgia Dept. of Public Health News accounts