Politics

Medical Marijuana Bill Filed But Major Question Remains Unresolved

Rep. Allen Peake, far left, files a bill that would give those in possession of an oil-based form of medical marijuana immunity from prosecution.
Rep. Allen Peake, far left, files a bill that would give those in possession of an oil-based form of medical marijuana immunity from prosecution.
Credit / WABE

Possession of an oil-based form of medical marijuana would be legal under a bill filed Monday at the Georgia House. The bill, however, doesn’t lay out how Georgia families would actually get it here. Statewide, growing and distributing medical marijuana remains illegal.

Shannon Cloud of Smryna was on hand to show support for the bill. She has an eight-year-old daughter who suffers from severe seizure disorders.

“This is a very exciting day obviously. We’re one step to closer to getting medicine for our kids with seizures and all the other adults and children in Georgia that need access to this medication to help them have a better quality of life ,” says Cloud.

But some say the bill doesn’t go far enough. The question remains – how will families obtain the oil if it’s not legally available here in Georgia?

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, says he’s in talks with an out-of-state manufacturer to ship the oil directly to those in need. He says he’s also lobbying Gov. Nathan Deal to apply for an exemption from the Drug Enforcement Agency allowing for the shipments. If that doesn’t work, Peake says he’s willing to drive to a state where it’s legal and bring the oil back himself at the risk jail time.

“Maybe there’s some time for a little civil disobedience in order to show the lunacy of a federal law that I can be in possession of a legal product in Colorado or be in possession of legal product in Georgia but I’m going to get arrested because I’m driving through Kansas,” says Peake.

A separate bill sponsored by Sen. Curt Thompson, D-Tucker, allows for in-state cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana. Republicans, though, are expected to unite behind Peake’s bill.