Lawmakers in the Georgia House of Representatives [official website] on Monday approved a bill [HB 885 backgrounder] that would legalize the administration of medical marijuana by pill, liquid or injection to treat certain seizure disorders. The Georgia House approved the bill on Monday by an overwhelming majority of 171-4. Rep. Allen Peake (R) [official website] of Macon, Georgia, sponsored the bill, and his support for the issue was inspired [Telegraph report] in part by a constituent's four-year-old daughter that suffers from an extreme seizure disorder. The bill contains several provisions directed to study the benefits of medical cannabis to treat conditions related to seizures, as well as cancer and glaucoma. Further, it will allow Georgia's five medical research universities to cultivate cannabis in order to extract cannabidiol (CBD), a non hallucinogenic cannabidoiol, from the plant. The bill will now travel to the Georgia state Senate, where Peake believes the bill may be tightened before it becomes law because it includes many groundbreaking provisions.
The use of marijuana for medical purposes and the legalization of marijuana [JURIST backgrounder] for recreational use has garnered more legal support [Marijuana Policy Project website] in the US in recent months. Last month the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Department of the Treasury issued guidelines [JURIST report] for banks to provide services to legal marijuana-related businesses, predominately in Colorado and Washington. In January the Florida Supreme Court approved [JURIST report] a citizen initiative to vote on an amendment to the state constitution on the legality of medical marijuana. Also in January New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced [JURIST report] plans for a medical marijuana pilot program which would permit up to 20 hospitals to distribute medical marijuana to patients with serious illnesses.