THC Euphoria – “Get over it”

Georgia State Representative Allen Peake – (R-Macon) , a sponsor of a medical cannabis extract (CBD) bill continues to ignore the medical benefits of the whole plant cannabis and THC the active compound known for its euphoric effects and medical benefits. Peake down plays the role THC plays in treating medical condition such as glaucoma and cancer.

James Bell, director of Georgia C.A.R.E. Project said he supports full plant medicine and was quoted in a recent article concerning proposed legislation being considered for the 2015 legislative session.  Georgia Senate Bill 7 – 2015

Here is what Bell had to say:

Peake also emphasized that cannabis oil contains a relatively low percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, the active psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

But some say that in trying to get conservatives to embrace some form of medical marijuana legislation, Peake has distorted the science by playing down the medical potential of THC.

“I think we have maybe one opportunity to get [medical marijuana legislation] right,” said James Bell, the director of the Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform and Education, or CARE, which supports (Sen. Curt) Thompson’s bill.

Georgia Senate Bill 7 – 2015

“When Allen Peake talks about ‘[cannabis oil] won’t get you high,’ my point is ‘So what if it gets you high?’” he said.

“They’re already on…drugs I can’t even pronounce. One parent said his six-year-old was going into puberty; another said that his child’s gums were growing over his teeth…and Allen Peake is worried about some child feeling euphoric…They need to get over it.”

Bell accused GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Epidiolex, a cannabis oil treatment currently in the clinical trial process, of lobbying to essentially limit legalization to their product when the whole plant could be used to treat a wider array of medical conditions.

Bell said he hoped a compromise bill would eventually emerge from committee.

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Georgia Sen. Curt Thompson On Marijuana Benefits

Few would disagree that physicians need every good tool in their medical toolbox to provide the best short and long-term health care to their patients — whether that tool is a new diagnostic test, a new antibiotic or a form of proven pain reliever.

During the 2015 legislative session, we will have the opportunity to provide our doctors with an additional tool, by legalizing marijuana for medical use. This summer, a joint study committee examined the options for legalizing marijuana, and already, three bipartisan bills have been filed.

I have authored SB 7, which would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana of up to two ounces for specific debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, Chrone’s Disease, Alzheimer’s and the chronic or debilitating condition that cause Cachexia (wasting syndrome), severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, and seizures/muscle spasms from epilepsy or multiple sclerosis.

SB 7 also includes a number of common-sense limitations and guardrails for dispensing the drug. Marijuana, like any other prescription drug, would be regulated.

To advance the conversation of marijuana use, I have also authored SR 6, a measure that would legalize, regulate and tax the sale of retail marijuana through licensed establishments. The tax collections would be constitutionally earmarked for education and transportation infrastructure. The resolution, if passed, would allow for a referendum in 2016 on amending the state Constitution to allow full legalization of marijuana, including recreational use.

If approved by voters, retail marijuana would co-exist with, not replace, medical marijuana. SR 6 includes lengthy requirements about licensing facilities, excise taxes and fees, and the creation of a state authority to regulate the sales.

Our discussions of marijuana in Georgia — in its many forms — have been largely limited to children’s health. While I adamantly support cannabis oil treatments for children with severe medical problems, I believe physicians should have the ability to care for all of their patients regardless of age, socio-economic status or where they live. SB 6 would provide doctors another tool for care and treatment, which we have learned varies depending on the nature of the illness.

While injectable cannabidiol is a wonderful treatment for certain illnesses, it is not a complete medical package. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is also the therapeutic chemical that treats glaucoma, cancer, HIV/AIDS, wasting diseases and numerous other conditions. Many of these conditions either do not have other available treatments on the market, or the available treatments have significant side effects. Failure to pass legislation that permits THC-containing treatments and all necessary forms of delivery would leave patients out in the cold. It is critical we pass legislation that allows for all medically sound uses of medical marijuana.

SR 6 puts the discussion of retail marijuana regulation and taxation on the table. We have an opportunity in Georgia to regulate sales and make available another revenue stream without raising existing taxes. Several states have approved this option, and the revenue generated is so large, tax rebates to citizens are being considered.

Legalizing and regulating marijuana also allows us to reduce the strain on our public safety system and jails. In 2010, for example, marijuana possession arrests accounted for over 65 percent of drug arrests in Georgia. There were over 32,000 arrests for marijuana possession in that year alone. Legalizing and regulating marijuana would free up law enforcement to focus on more dangerous drugs and save taxpayers money by significantly reducing the number of people in our state’s prisons and jails.

Georgians will be hearing a great deal about these issues in the coming months, and citizens deserve a full exploration and debate by their elected officials. The legislation I have authored is in no way meant to supplant other legislation; it is meant to augment the discussion. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to advance the discussion of marijuana use and regulation and finding the best possible solution for Georgians.

Democrat Voters in Whitfield County GA say yes to legalization

With little fanfare Democrat voters in Whitfield County Georgia say yes to legal marijuana. The straw poll was on the May 2014 primary ballot. It backs up a poll conducted in January by NORML that shows 62% of likely voters support decriminalization of cannabis

WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) – Voters in Whitfield County say yes to legalization.  It was a question in a democratic straw poll.  Voters were asked, should Georgia legalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older? On their ballot it’s a non-binding question  and 64-percent of voters think it should be legal.

Georgia democrats included the legalization question on the ballot to get people out to vote.  Straw polls also serve to gauge voters opinion.

Under current Georgia law, less than an ounce of cannabis can get you up to one year in prison, anything more than that and you could spend up to 10 years behind bars.