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Georgia MMJ Expansion Still Doesn’t Give Patients Legal Access to Their Medicine

It unfortunately could also put thousands of patients in the line of fire for federal drug trafficking charges.

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Georgia Governor Nathan Deal recently signed a medical marijuana expansion plan that gives more patients the freedom to smuggle highly illegal, non-intoxicating cannabis oil into the state.

On Monday, the governor put his signature on a bill intended to increase participation in the state’s cannabis oil program. That it does. The measure gives people with AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epidermolysis bullosa, peripheral neuropathy, Tourette’s syndrome and even hospice patients permission to possess a certain amount CBD oil without fear of state prosecution.

The only problem is the law still does not allow this medicine to be cultivated and produced in the state, which means patients must bring it in from a legal state if they want access.

Unfortunately, this puts thousands of patients in the line of fire for federal drug trafficking charges

State Representative Allen Peake, the lawmaker responsible for bringing the medical marijuana bill to the table, acknowledges that the current state of the low-THC program is flawed, but he believes he can remedy the situation in the next legislative session.

“My hope is that in 2018 we can fill the gaping hole that still remains, and provide legal access to medical cannabis oil here in our state with a safe, lab tested product produced within our own borders,” Peake said in a statement. “The job will not be finished until we accomplish this task.”

The risk associated with Georgia’s cannabis oil law is even more amplified now that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it perfectly clear that he wants to put a stop to interstate drug trafficking. In fact, criminal cases involving sick patients who were simply trying to put cannabis oil in the house would likely be punished no differently than if they were associated with cartel activity.

To make matters worse, the recent medical marijuana protections passed by Congress does not shield patients caught traveling with cannabis oil across state lines.

It is for this reason that Representative Peake says he has been breaking federal law in order to ensure patients all across the state of Georgia can gain access to this medicine without taking on the risk.

Peake recently told reporters that he has been traveling to legal marijuana states and bringing back shipments of cannabis oil for patients in need.

“We made sure that families properly registered with the state got access to medical cannabis, including delivering it to them if that's the only way we can make that happen," Peake told The State.

As he has done for the past couple of years, Peake plans to introduce legislation at the beginning of 2018 calling for the state to expand its medical marijuana program a step further. 

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