In 1980 Georgia General Assembly unanimously passed a medical marijuana research act, (Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Act – Code 43-34-120) becoming one of the first states to recognize the medical benefits of marijuana. With support of Lt. Gov. Zell Miller, House Speaker Tom Murphy, Rep. Virlyn Smith and Governor George Busbee, this landmark legislation opened the doors to therapeutic cannabis. The law relied upon federal cooperation and supply, therefore rendering the law cumbersome and ineffective in accomplishing its goal to further the research into the benefits of medical marijuana.
The legislation stated: “(Studies) indicates that marijuana and certain of its derivatives possess valuable and in some cases, unique therapeutic properties, including the ability to relieve nausea and vomiting which routinely accompany chemotherapy and irradiation used to treat cancer patients.” It also cited the benefit in reducing intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.