Georgia Senate passes expansion of limited Medical Marijuana Bill

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on April 01, 2017.

The Georgia state Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill that would expand the medical marijuana program of the state by adding six new diagnoses to the list of qualifying conditions.

The Senators on Thursday passed a revised version of “Senate Bill 16” with 45-6 votes and sent the bill to Governor Nathan Deal in order to sign into law of the state. The bill was approved by Georgia's House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah, sponsored the bill and called on the federal government to "tear down the wall" to additional research by changing the classification of marijuana.

The new measure would make six conditions eligible for treatment with a limited form of marijuana oil allowed across the state. Those are Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, autism, epidermolysis bullosa, peripheral neuropathy and Tourette’s syndrome. Patients in hospice care also could possess the oil.

According to the bill, marijuana Users must be registered with the state health officials and prove to be under a physician's care for the conditions allowed in state medical marijuana program.

Georgia's limited medical marijuana law was enacted in 2015. If the Governor signs the bill into law, the marijuana program of the state will include people with 15 medical conditions, up from nine currently.

Current conditions allowed to use medical marijuana in the state include cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and Crohn's disease.

“Today we’re going to provide more access to Georgians with very specific illnesses,” said Sen. Matt Brass, R-Newnan. “And we’ll provide doctors more treatment options for patients.”

Brass also said that he supported the expansion because he wanted those with autism to be allowed to be use cannabis oil after obtaining a doctor's approval.

In Georgia, around 1,300 people are approved to use low-THC marijuana oil l for the initial nine conditions.

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